Dominic Thiem reveals Novak Djokovic’s biggest obstacle to a Calendar Grand Slam in 2023
Novak Djokovic already has one Grand Slam to his name in 2023 and he is many people’s favourite for the remaining three majors of the season, but Dominic Thiem believes there is likely to be one big stumbling block in his way.
World No 1 Djokovic has made no secret of the fact that he would love to win a Calendar Grand Slam, which would see him become only the second player after Rod Laver in 1969 to achieve the feat in the Open Era.
The Serbian has twice come close to realising his dream as he won three majors in 2015 and again in 2021. Back in 2015 Stan Wawrinka was the man who denied him the Calendar Slam as the Swiss beat him in the French Open final while two years ago he lost out to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.
Djokovic has started this year by winning a 10th Australian Open title to join Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slams and up next is the French Open – usually Nadal’s domain – before they head to Wimbledon where Djokovic has dominated in recent years.
The US Open is last on the agenda, but he will return this year after he was unable to compete last year due to his unvaccinated status, and he is a one of the best players on hard courts.
Thiem believes the only major where Djokovic’s Calendar Grand Slam bid could fail is Roland Garros, but it will more than likely take a fully fit Nadal, who has struggled with injury in recent months, to stop him.
“I have the feeling that there are many players now who can beat those two guys [Djokovic and Nadal],” he told Casper Ruud during Eurosport’s Ruud Talk.
“There are great guys there, but obviously, also those two, three when Roger [Federer] was there, they were still one level above all the others, especially in the Slams, especially when it came to the best-of-five.
“For the whole tennis world it would be nice to see one last showdown in Roland-Garros, obviously, but Novak will still be the man to beat in the Grand Slams in 2023.
“The only tournament is Roland-Garros: if Rafael is fit there, it’s exactly the opposite. He’s the man to beat, obviously, when he won the tournament 14 times, it’s crazy.
“But if you see the performance of Novak at the Australian Open, which was incredible, he’s going to be probably the favourite at Wimbledon and the US Open as well.”
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