By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday July 22, 2021
Daring to dream put Novak Djokovic within sight of the rare Golden Grand Slam.
Disciplined desire can help him achieve the the golden dream.
World No. 1 Djokovic met with the media in Tokyo today ahead of his Olympic opening-rounder vs. Hugo Dellien.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is bidding to become the first man in history to capture the Golden Grand Slam—winning all four major crowns and the Olympic gold medal in the same season—and join Steffi Graf as the second player in history to achieve the feat.
Djokovic says he knows history is within sight, but must focus on each match to realize it.
“I put myself in a very good position, but I will take things very slowly and cautiously and focus only on the next challenge,” Djokovic said at his pre-tournament presser. “This is an approach I really need to have becasue in the past I wasn’t probably fully experiencing that approach and that has backfired on me.
“I started to feel there were a lot of distractions around that were influencing my performance. I know there is a lot of things on the line, I know there is history on the line, I’m privileged and motivated to be in this position. I’ve worked very hard to be there, with my team of course, but let’s talk about history if everything goes great here.”
Five years ago the Olympics posed heartbreak history as an emotional Djokovic suffered a painful opening-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro at the 2016 Rio Games. Del Potro went on to the final falling to Andy Murray in the gold-medal match as the Scot made history as the first singles player to collect back-to-back gold medals.
Former world No. 1 Murray and Djokovic shared a hearty handshake on court after practice in Tokyo. Sporting a sleeveless shirt, the Wimbledon winner looks ripped and says he’s pumped to continue his quest.
“I feel great physically, mentally, I’m ready to perform at my best,” Djokovic said. “I’ve had arguably the best Grand Slam season in my sport so far, winning three out of the four Grand Slams so I could not have better preparation and better lead-up to the Olympic Games.”
Photo credit: International Tennis Federation Facebook