With his ninth tennis grand slam championship, Novak Djokovic has now separated himself from some of the greatest tennis players of all-time and seems to be on a path for even greater heights before his journey is complete.
In an era where Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have clearly distinguished themselves as historic champions, Djokovic has been that irritating pebble in the shoe that has kept both of those stars from achieving even greater success.
His victory over Federer in the Wimbledon final marked the second straight year he has defeated the 17-time grand slam champion in the finals. He also has a 3-4 career record in finals against Nadal.
Clearly the number one player in the world, Djokovic will now set his sights on the U.S. Open, a tournament in which he has reached the finals five times. However, he has not won the title since 2011 and last year failed to reach the finals for the first time since 2009.
Having passed Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Fred Perry and Ivan Lendl, who each won eight grand slam titles during their careers, Djokovic now aims to become just the eighth player in history to reach double digits. He will match Bill Tilden with his next victory and then would aim for Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg, who each won 11 grand slam titles.
While Djokovic will focus on growing his grand slam trophy collection at Wimbledon and then next year in Australia, you know that in the back of his mind is the French Open where his surprising loss to Stan Wawrinka kept him from reaching the career grand slam.
Who is the Greatest Men's Tennis Player of the Current Decade?
- Novak Djokovic (43%, 12 Votes)
- Roger Federer (43%, 12 Votes)
- Rafael Nadal (14%, 4 Votes)
- Andy Murray (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 28
If Djokovic is eventually able to become the eighth player with the career grand slam, it will definitely place his career in another level of greatness.
At 28-years-old and in seemingly tremendous shape, he certainly appears to have several more years to rack up titles and win the career slam, but with Nadal and Federer both still around as well as several young stars rising, Djokovic will have to maintain his hunger and work ethic if he hopes to continue shaping his place in tennis history.