Since the turn of the 21st Century, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have won a combined total of 31 grand slam singles titles to rank first and tied for second all-time. They seemingly have been the dominant faces of the men’s tennis world, yet, at the end of the day it now looks possible that they both could be overtaken by another player who once lived in their shadow.
With his three-set victory over Andy Murray in the finals of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic claimed his third straight major championship and has now won 10 major titles since 2011 and 11 overall.
Nearing his 29th birthday, Djokovic is now tied with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver for fifth all-time in major championships. He has won five of the last seven and many think he could become the first men’s player since Laver in 1969 (the first year of the open era) to win all four major championships in the same year.
Even if he doesn’t claim all four this year, Djokovic can become the first men’s player since Laver to hold all four major titles at the same time if he can win the French Open in June.
He nearly won the grand slam last year as it was only a four-set loss to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open Finals that kept him from the amazing feat in 2015.
If his dominating victory over Murray is any indication, Djokovic is a man at the peak of his game ready for the challenge associated with achieving new heights.
Will Novak Djokovic Pass Roger Federer's Record of 17 Career Grand Slam Wins?
- Yes (53%, 27 Votes)
- No (47%, 24 Votes)
Total Voters: 51
While Djokovic has tennis skills similar to all his primary competitors, what has helped him move ahead of the competition has been his legendary fitness as stamina and amazing steal-will, especially in crucial match situations. Both of those components are hard to measure, but undoubtedly crucial.
It would be a huge surprise if Djokovic doesn’t come to Roland Garros ready to make history. He will certainly enter as the favorite and it will take another career performance like Wawrinka displayed last year to keep Djokovic from completing his career grand slam and holding all four titles at the same time.
Whether he will continue his dominance long enough to pass Federer’s 17 grand slams is still to be determined, but he certainly looks well positioned to make a run at the record.