Novak Djokovic said winning the calendar-year Grand Slam would be the highlight of his career in a news conference on Friday at the US Open.
“I think it’s an easy question — yes, it would be,” he said when asked if winning all four majors in 2021 would be his greatest professional accomplishment. “Obviously I know how big of an opportunity is in front of me here in New York where historically I’ve played really well over the years. It’s probably the most entertaining tennis court that we have. Crowd will be back [in the] stadium.
“I can’t wait. Honestly, I’m very motivated to play my best tennis. But I have to hit one ball at a time, as they say, try to be in the moment, have a guiding star in a way, a dream to win a slam here which would obviously complete the calendar slam. I’m hugely inspired and motivated by that, no doubt.”
Djokovic has won three straight majors this year — at the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon — and a win at the season’s final Grand Slam would make him just the sixth player and third man in history to accomplish the feat. Rod Laver is the only man to have done so in the Open Era.
The title would also give him the outright record for the most major titles by a male player at 21. He is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20. Both Federer and Nadal withdrew from the tournament due to injuries.
The US Open begins on Monday. Djokovic, a three-time champion at the event and the tournament’s top seed, will take on a yet-to-be-determined qualifier in the first round.