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!