World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is a man on the mission at the US Open. Entering the season's last Major with 21 straight victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Novak is trying to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 with a calendar Grand Slam.
Also, if the Serb lifts the trophy in two Sundays, he will become the only player with 21 Major titles on his tally, leaving Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20. Like many others, Greg Rusedski believes that Novak would finish the GOAT race if he wins the fourth Major crown within a season, reminding that Federer and Nadal never accomplished that.
Rusedski mentioned Djokovic's two titles at all four Majors, a feat that also stands as an argument against his closest rivals. Djokovic endured all the obstacles at the Australian Open and Roland Garros earlier this year to start his incredible journey and lifted the sixth Wimbledon trophy to celebrate the 20th Major.
Greg Rusedski places Novak Djokovic above Federer and Nadal if he wins US Open.
Now, Novak will seek tennis history in New York, which should be the most important tournament of his incredible career if he goes all the way.
The Serb beat the young Dane Holger Rune 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes in the opening round. Holger gave his best to stay on the court until the end and avoid retirement, struggling with cramps since the third set and failing to continue where he left in the second.
Novak got broken twice and earned eight return games to topple a teenager and sail into the second round. Rune prevailed in the second set before Djokovic restored the order in the remaining two to secure the 22nd consecutive victory at Majors.
"Well, I think there are so many different views on who is the greatest player ever. For me, Novak Djokovic's calendar Grand Slam would cement his GOAT status because Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have failed to achieve that.
Novak has won all four Majors at least twice, while Federer has only one Roland Garros. Those things separate Novak from Roger and Rafa, and I think he will not stop at 21 Majors if he wins the US Open next week. If Novak wins all four Major titles this year and adds more records to his tally in the following years, the GOAT discussion should be over," Greg Rusedski said.