‘The Djoker Slam’ Did Not Get the Recognition It Deserved

I already made posts where I emphasized the significance of Djokovic’s personal slam which he completed this year at the French Open but I haven’t dedicated a post to that specifically and I think it is due.

And the reason I think it is due is because of the lack of attention it received in the mainstream media. One reason it did not receive the attention it deserved in the mainstream media is because Federer and Nadal are their favorites and the fact that Djokovic achieved something neither of them ever could, was upsetting to the mainstream ‘pundits’.

Djokovic is viewed as the outsider because he is from Serbia and because he is a serious threat to Federer and Nadal. Of course, there isn’t any legitimate reason for him not getting the recognition he deserves.

It is simply because of bias and because the mainstream western media is one of the worst evils this world has ever seen. That goes for all things, not just tennis. It is also because the mainstream media are not true tennis fans.

It is more a question of hyping whoever is the most popular and therefore getting their websites the most clicks. That has never been the case with me because I have true love for the sport and my main priority has never been website clicks.

I appreciate tennis not website clicks. I am opposed to this kind of ‘tennis journalism’ because I think it hurts the sport more than it helps. It doesn’t give people a true appreciation of the sport and it doesn’t enrich their experience.

Either way, these journalists didn’t give Djokovic the credit he deserved for winning the Djoker slam and I aim to rectify that in this post.

  • Is The Djoker Slam the Greatest Achievement in Tennis History?

‘The greatest achievement in tennis history’ is of course highly subjective and there would never be a consensus but the Djoker slam should be right up there. The calendar slam is the holy grail of tennis and only Laver has been abe to do it in the open era.

Then there is also Federer’s 17 slam titles. Add Djokovic’s personal slam and you probably have the three greatest achievements in tennis history. You can make a case for the Djoker slam being the greatest achievement of them all.

Laver’s calendar slam was done on two different surfaces; grass and clay. Djokovic is the only man to have won four consecutive slams on three different surfaces. The calendar slam is done in a calendar year which makes it unique but holding all four major titles at the same time is still holding all four major titles at the same time.

Djokovic also did it in a very competitive era where tennis has become more professional than ever. It takes a truly special player to hold all four major titles on hard court(fast and slow), grass, and clay at the same time.

Everyone knows what a special player Federer is but not even he was able to do that. And that is because Djokovic is even more complete than Federer. Federer has the slightest of weaknesses on his backhand, returns, and mental strength.

Djokovic is certainly one of the best ever in all three those areas. What makes him so special and the best in history at his peak is because he almost puts as much pressure on you on your service games as he does on his own service games.

His world-class returns and movement make that possible. I have written about Djokovic’s ability to relentlessly pressure his opponents on countless occasions but it is worth repeating. Tennis is after all about pressure.

The player who can exert the most pressure on his opponent wins the match. That is tennis in its simplest form and that is why Djokovic is so good.

  • The Genius of Simplicity

The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” –Albert Einstein.

There is a certain simplicity to Djokovic’s game which makes him a genius.

People tend to think a genius is someone like Federer who can hit spectacular shots and awe an audience. While it is easy on the eye it doesn’t necessarily translate to efficiency. Obviously, Federer has been a highly successful and efficient player.

But Djokovic maybe even more so. Contrary to Federer, Djokovic does not appear to be spectacular. His genius is more subtle and to the untrained eye may even be boring. But for someone who can appreciate it I assure you it is spectacularly entertaining.

Yes I was a Federer fan and I appreciated his shotmaking and elegance but Djokovic’s tennis has been even more entertaining. The ruthless efficiency and effectiveness of it is a sight to behold. Just unheard of.

I particularly enjoyed the contests between Djokovic and Federer because it was genius vs genius with Djokovic’s ruthless efficiency usually coming out on top. Mentally he was also stronger than Federer winning the big points.

I’ll never forget the first couple of sets of their Australian Open meeting this year where Djokovic was just in the zone and made the great Federer look like an amateur. That is not something that ever happened to Federer at a hard court slam.

It was simply breathtaking tennis.

  • In Conclusion

I think the Djoker slam was a remarkable achievement the likes of which neither Laver or Federer achieved for reasons I have already outlined. I am not saying it is a greater feat than Laver’s calendar slam or Federer’s 17 slam titles.

But it is certainly unique just as their biggest achievements are unique. As far as the GOAT debate goes Laver, Federer, and Djokovic is tier one for me. Their unique achievements put them in a league of their own.

Sampras’ seven Wimbledon titles, Nadal’s nine French Open titles, and Borg’s three channel slams were all remarkable achievements in their own right, but they don’t quite match up to what Laver, Federer, and Djokovic achieved.

I think it is a shame that Djokovic’s personal slam is not more celebrated and recognized but the people who know something about tennis know how special it is and I can assure you they appreciate it.

It is something that propelled Djokovic into the tier one GOAT debate with Federer and Laver and it may never be achieved again. In fact, it is so remarkable that if Djokovic doesn’t win anything from here on he will still be in the GOAT debate with Federer and Laver.

No doubt Federer has had amazing consistency and Laver had an incredible run in 1969 but Djokovic’s dominance from the beginning of 2015 to the French Open this year has been the most dominant in history.

Djokovic has also had amazing consistency and he is not done yet. I am looking forward to seeing what he has left but I wanted to make a post at the end of the year to emphasize the greatest achievement of the year by far and maybe the greatest achievement in tennis history.

I don’t control people’s views or the media but I do know something about tennis and I want to at least give people the opportunity to appreciate the Djoker slam but most of all give it the credit that it is very deservedly due.

  • An Afterthought

One last thing that occurred to me as I read though my post was that Djokovic completed the personal slam at the French Open which he had never won before and which had been a cursed slam for him.

It also meant he completed the career slam and the personal slam at the same time. I don’t think the significance of this should be underestimated. I’m sure it helped Laver that he achieved the calendar slam in 1962 as an amateur before he did it again in the open era as a pro.

When Djokovic won the personal slam at the French Open he was in an unconquered territory and cursed territory at that. The rain even tried to get in his way again but he took his destiny into his own hands like a true champion.

No wonder he suffered from mental and physical exhaustion after that!

🇬🇧🇺🇸🇦🇺🇫🇷

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23 Comments

  1. Ru-an, great post. Agree with all. Western media (I live in the west) is absolutely ridiculously biased. Novak does not get the recognition he deserves, due to the fact he is not as “liked” by the mainstream western fans. His family and entourage did not help him at the beginning of his career by wearing those stupid silk screened t shirts and not showing class. Right off the bat people didn’t like him, and it doesn’t matter what he achieves physically and professionally, Federer (and Nadal) will always be the the fan favourites.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Danielle. Nole’s parents also annoyed me early on but I gained respect for his dad who I think is a smart guy. I don’t know much about his mom but I think both his parents just care a lot about him and wants what is best for him. Like most parents.

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  2. Thank you for the article Ru-an, very well put and much appreciated. This was a wonderful unique achievement, which as you say was never really fully acknowledged, let alone praised or celebrated. And now just a few months later so many have chosen to forget, and talk as though he is finished and wasn’t that great anyway. Do you remember at the French Open, that as Novak received the trophy, the sun came out and shone on him for just about the first time during the tournament! A magic moment I will never forget.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You are welcome, Lynsey and thank you for your support. It is indeed sad that so many have chosen to forget and act as though he is finished and that it wasn’t that great anyway. You summed it up well. It is all part of their bias and agenda but it is their loss.

    As a true tennis fan and someone who can appreciate greatness when they see it, I have enjoyed Djokovic’s run immensely. I can truly say it has been my favorite time as a tennis fan. And Djokovic is far from done. Can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for him!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    That is a good observation about the weather at the FO as well. I didn’t specifically notice that but very fitting and magical indeed.

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  3. It was as though the heavens were smiling on him. I hope there is a lot more smiling to come from Novak and everybody who supports him.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup and he deserves it. A humble and caring guy who has to deal with a lot of shit.

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  4. I think Novak’s achievement would have been greater had he managed it by defeating Nadal at the French say five years ago when he was at his peak. Or Federer on the grass at the same time. No taking away from his success, but it cannot be ignored that he didn’t beat these guys on their top surface when they were at their peak.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Neither did Federer or Nadal beat Djokovic at his peak at the AO so what you say means nothing with all due respect.

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    Frank Bell Reply:

    Sorry but I have to disagree with you. To say it would not have been a greater achievement to beat Nadal at the French at his peak is just plain silly.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    To say what you are saying and failing to admit that beating Djokovic at the AO would have made Nadal or Federer’s achievements greater is even sillier.

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    Frank Bell Reply:

    Agreed. Just as Federer not beating Sampras on grass at his PEAK takes a little shine off his achievements at Wimbledon. It’s the age old argument about different times and eras, but as a fan would be great to create a time machine to see these great champions all compete at their absolute best.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic defeated Federer twice in a Wimbledon final and was only the second man to defeat Nadal at the FO and the only to do so in straight sets. That’s enough for me.

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    Siddharth Reply:

    Djokovic has failed to beat Stan in slam finals. Would like to know your opinion on that. Had he done so in FO 2015 he would have achieved the Calendar slam. And if he had beaten him in USO 2016 , he would have completed a another 3-slam year and all but sealed the year-end number 1 ranking.

    How can a guy who dominates Federer, Nadal at their best slams, is seemingly at the peak of his powers, get blown of the court by Stan in slam finals ?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think ‘blown off the court’ is an exaggeration but Stan is a dangerous player. That said, the scheduling and draw made things impossible for Djokovic at the FO and at the USO he was clearly not at his best.

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    Ligerpat Reply:

    Frank Bell
    Is right. It’s not exactly Djokovic’s fault, but beating a nearly 33-34 year old Federer at Wimbledon 7-8 years past prime doesn’t prove much.
    Likewise beating nadal at the French in 2015 (a year when he was pretty woeful and losing to nobodies) isn’t very impressive, especiallly considering that he lost to him so many times previously.

    Effectively, Djokovic really cashed in when fed and nadal were way past prime.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No, he’s not right. And neither are you. Next time at least try to dispute the facts that neither Federer nor Nadal could defeat Djokovic in his prime at the AO, while Djokovic defeated Federer twice in the Wimby final and is the only guy to defeat Nadal in straight sets at the FO.

    Effectively, Federer cashed in when Nadal and Djokovic didn’t reach their peak yet and to a lesser extent, Nadal did the same before Djokovic reached his peak.

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    Ligerpat Reply:

    I didn’t mention anything about Federer and nadal beating prime Djokovic at Australian open. Any anyway in Federer’s case he never played prime Djokovic at the Australian in his prime years which were 2004-2007.

    I was only saying that Djokovic beating Nadal in 2015 French open (after losing to French Nadal in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014) is simply due to Nadal being a shadow of the player he was. Put it this way since 2014 French open Nadal has not even made the semi final of a slam and has suffered humiliating defeats to all kinds of players. So Djokovic only really beat him there after a massive drop in form. Djokovic had 6 previous chances to beat Nadal at French when Nadal was actually close to his best (and I’d argue in 2014 Nadal was somewhat past his best) and failed. It’s obvious to any unbiased observer that Djokovic beat him at the 7th time of asking due to Nadal’s game dropping off. One only has to watch how slowly Nadal moved in that match relative to say 2006-2013 to know that this is not the same Nadal. And anyway the year he beat Nadal he didn’t even win the French.

    As for Federer he is 6 years older so understandably their primes didn’t really intersect. But most of the matches they have played have been in Djokovic’s prime and not Federer’s. Beating a 33-34 year old is not that impressive. The history of tennis shows that by that age most players are usually declined.

    Djokovic himself will decline seriously in the coming years and will soon start losing to much younger players even at the Australian. And obviously those matches won’t count for the same as beating Djokovic when he was younger and in his prime. Just as Djokovic cleaning up now when Federer and Nadal are finished and there are no decent upcoming players is not as special as you have made it out to be .

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  5. Good article. You chose a topic that really needed to be written about. You have thrown light on Djokovic’s greatness and you very nearly did him full justice. I liked the point you made of Djokovic winning his personal slam on three different surfaces with hard courts being different at the Australian Open and the US Open. Mentioning that his beauty lies in his simplistic approach would have been a reminder to many tennis fans about what makes this champion one of his kind. Now that was a holistic approach to writing an account of Djokovic. Great post! :-)

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