Djokovic targets historic 'golden slam'

Novak Djokovic remains focused on more success after winning his 19th major title, targeting a calendar year 'grand slam' and Olympic gold.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC of Serbia.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC of Serbia. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic is half-way to his quest of emulating Rod Laver as the second man in the Open era to achieve the calendar year 'grand slam' - but he's now out to achieve a feat even the great Australian never had a chance to accomplish.

After winning the French Open in Paris to make it a 19-slam collection, the insatiable world No.1 is targeting the 'golden slam' - that's all four major titles plus Olympic gold in the same year.

If he was to become the first man to achieve something that only Steffi Graf managed in 1988, his two coaches Marian Vajda and Goran Ivanisevic joked on Sunday that they'd just quit the game because it sounds impossible.

Yet Djokovic, who came from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final at Roland Garros, said: "Everything is possible.

"I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought would be not possible for me.

"Everything is possible - and I did put myself in a good position to go for the golden slam."

Laver never had the opportunity to shoot for all five as tennis wasn't part of the Games when he ruled, but still no man in the Open era has matched his 1969 calendar slam.

The 'Rocket' tweeted congratulations to Djokovic on his latest success after the Serb joined him and fellow Aussie great Roy Emerson as the only men in history to have won two titles or more at each grand slam.

"Two career Grand Slams @DjokerNole and 19 all up - congratulations on a memorable week in Paris and all the best for the grass," Laver wrote.

Djokovic recalled that when he was last in a position to go to Wimbledon, holding the first two slams of the year, the Australian and French Opens, in 2016, he lost in the third round to Sam Querrey.

But coach Vajda thinks this could be the year.

"I think it is possible, much more possible... He's healthy right now, he's in great shape," Vajda said.

" I think he has ability to win the grand slam for this year... It's still far away from us, we have to still focus on the next one - but overall he's set up for this year."

Djokovic is the winner of the past two Wimbledon titles, with last year's event cancelled due to COVID-19.

"I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days' time," he said.

"I don't have an issue to say that I'm going for the title in Wimbledon.

"Hopefully, I can keep that run going."

If Djokovic did manage the 'grand slam' this year it would give him a record 21 major trophies, eclipsing the 20 held by both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

"I never thought it was a mission impossible to reach the grand slams of these guys," Djokovic said.

"I mean, I'm not there - but it's one less.

"But they're still playing, playing great, especially Rafa with his level.

"We all have still opportunities at Wimbledon, all the other slams.

"I'll keep on going. I'll keep on chasing.

"At the same time, I'll keep on paving my own path, my own authentic path."