Novak Djokovic entered an exclusive league of men with his 20th Grand Slam triumph and third of 2021 at Wimbledon on Sunday.
The Serbian became just the fifth man in the Open Era to accomplish the ‘Channel Slam’ – a feat that marks title wins at the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.
Djokovic joins Rod Laver (1962, 1969), Bjorn Borg (1978, 79, 80), Rafael Nadal (2008, 2010) and Roger Federer (2009) in the coveted list that has seen minimal additions, given the gruelling task of winning both Slams in the same year on either side of the English Channel that separates France and England.
The gap between the French Open and Wimbledon was usually set at two weeks until 2015 and extended to three since. The quick shuffle from clay to grass has rarely been mastered, owing to the varying techniques and styles required to ace both tests in a short span.
The current season returned to the old norm of two weeks, sparking concerns about the challenges of excess fatigue on the players due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world number one’s unique double amid such challenges, makes his reign at the top even more special – with 19 Grand Slams to his name since 2010.
Significant records in Djokovic’s Wimbledon triumph
- Second man since Rod Laver to win the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year in the Open Era.
- First man since Rafael Nadal in 2010 to win Slams on three different surfaces (hard, clay and grass) in a calendar year.
- First player to win 75-plus matches at all four Grand Slams.