Beau will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Tumaini Carayol on Novak Djokovic’s quest for the calendar slam:
After a deeply satisfied Novak Djokovic had put his racket away following another job well done on Friday night, in the post-match interview of his five-set win over Alexander Zverev the interviewer started a question by listing all of the potential achievements on the line in his final match. As soon as Djokovic understood where the question was going, he cut the question off: “I’m going for a fourth US Open, that’s all I’m thinking about,” he said, smiling.
Further prompts about Djokovic’s grand slam attempt followed: “It’s there, it’s there,” said Djokovic. “I know that people would like to hear me talk about it, but there is not much to talk about. There’s only one match left. All in, all in. Let’s do it. I’m going to put my heart and my soul and my head into that one. I’m going to treat my next match like it is the last match of my career.”
This was not the first time this happened. Djokovic was also understandably not too interested in speaking about the subject in detail after his quarter-final and he later explained that being constantly prompted about the subject leads him to think too much about it, which can “burden” him mentally. He has already said plenty.
Few champions have mastered the knack of speaking openly about their goals and then going out and achieving them, and so this underlines how uniquely difficult the grand slam is to achieve. The sporting challenge of winning all 28 matches in a year is unfathomably difficult alone, but keeping your head throughout as people constantly remind you of the magnitude of the achievement at times seems unbearable.
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