The 2021 season went on file with Russia’s Davis Cup triumph. Previously, Alexander Zverev had won the ATP Finals for the second time in his career (repeating the 2018 title). This year he will be remembered above all for the legendary ride of Novak Djokovic, capable of reaching three sets of distance from the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’
The world number 1 won three majors in 2021, as well as making it to the final at the US Open. One step away from the finish, Nole had to surrender to fatigue and a Daniil Medvedev in a state of grace. The victories obtained at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon still allowed the Serbian to reach Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Slams.
These are difficult times for the Swiss and the Spaniard, both plagued by a series of physical problems. The 40-year-old from Basel underwent knee surgery for the third time and will not return before summer 2022. The Majorcan, for his part, will participate in the Abu Dhabi exhibition in mid-December.
In the absence of further hitches, Rafa will fly to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open 2022. The 35-year-old from Manacor hopes to repeat his only ‘Down Under’ triumph dating back to 2009. In a recent interview with ‘moneycontrol.com’, Christopher Clarey – a well-known correspondent for the New York Times – illustrated the main difference between the Federer-Nadal duo and Novak Djokovic.
Clarey opens up on the Big 3
“Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer came from comfortable childhoods; they had choices,” said Clarey. “Novak Djokovic came from a war-torn country. Unlike Rafa-Roger, he had no choices. He just wanted- and needed- to succeed.”
Novak Djokovic has been in the news for his hesitation to reveal his vaccination status for the 2022 Australian Open. There have been travel restrictions on athletes in Australia, and Djokovic himself has had qualms regarding revealing his status.
Thus, it was unclear whether he would defend his title at the 2022 Australian Open. However, fans are now excited at the possibility of the Serbian champion playing in Melbourne. Now, he could be looking to begin the 2022 season in an emphatic manner.
He could do just that by finally holding the most number of Grand Slam men’s titles in the open era. Not only could he begin the new season by keeping Serbia at the top seed of the ATP Cup, but he just might finish the tour in Australia with a historic, record-breaking 21 Grand Slam titles.
How January will play out for the Serbian and his national team, is something the entire tennis world is certainly waiting to watch.