Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest male tennis players of all time. At the age of 35, the Serbian continues to perform at the highest level and is hoping for another special year in 2023. We must go back to 2008 to find the first time Djokovic won a Grand Slam title as he lifted the Australian Open. 15 years later and Djokovic is aiming to land more Grand Slam titles, but can he really win all 4 Grand Slams in a single year?
There is no doubt Djokovic can win all 4 Grand Slams, known as a Calendar Slam, as he has won each tournament in the past and has a joint-record 22 major men’s singles titles to his name. As highlighted above, Djokovic won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2008 and he picked up his tenth Australian Open title in 2023, which has presented the opportunity of winning all 4 Grand Slams this season. Wimbledon is another of Djokovic’s favoured tournaments and he has won 7 Wimbledon titles, including last season. Djokovic has won the US Open 3 times, with his most recent success in 2018 and the French Open twice, including 2021. So, the biggest hurdles are going to be the French Open and the US Open.
Rafael Nadal must be considered the biggest threat to Djokovic as he attempts to win all 4 Grand Slams. The Spaniard is one of the main reasons Djokovic only has 2 French Open titles to his name. Nadal has won the French Open men’s singles a record 14 times and is level with Djokovic on 22 major men’s singles titles. Nadal will enter the 2023 French Open as the defending champion and only once in the last six years as he failed to win the tournament. Djokovic was the man who won the French Open in 2021 and he beat Nadal in the semi-final. However, when Djokovic won the French Open in 2016, Nadal was forced to retire from the event due to injury. The fitness and form of Nadal going into the French Open will have a major impact on the chances of Djokovic winning all 4 Grand Slam titles this year. If you want to back Djokovic in the French Open, you can place a wager on these recommended tennis gambling apps, including DraftKings, BetMGM Sports, and Unibet.
Calendar Slam Winners
We must go back to 1969 to find the last time a man won all 4 Grand Slam titles in the same year. Rod Laver achieved the feat, doing so for the second time in his career. Prior to Laver’s first success in 1962, only Don Budge has won all 4 Grand Slam titles in a single year, claiming the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 1938. So, many of the male greats of the game, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, and John McEnroe, all failed to win the Calendar Slam, despite amassing plenty of Grand Slam titles. That underlines just how tough it is to win all 4 Grand Slams in the same year and history is not on Djokovic’s side.
Keeping fit is one of the major concerns for Djokovic and at 35 years of age, the risk of injury is bigger now than any other time in his career. Djokovic battled through an injury when winning the 2023 Australian Open which shows he can still win a Grand Slam despite suffering physically. However, the tennis season is long and gruelling and it remains to be seen how Djokovic’s body is going to hold up. The Serb may choose to play in fewer tournaments and focus on the major events throughout the year to remain fresh.
In terms of ability, Djokovic can win all 4 Grand Slam titles in the same year. However, other factors, including fitness, form, the draw, and opponents, especially Nadal, mean it is a huge task.