Novak Djokovic was the great protagonist of the 2021 season, in which he touched a milestone that was nothing short of legendary. Had he triumphed at the US Open last month, the world number 1 would have become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four majors in the same year.
After struggling more than expected on his way to the final, the Serbian surrendered clearly to Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium. If he won in New York, the 34-year-old from Belgrade would have overtaken eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, possibly ending the GOAT debate.
Nole's plans for the season finale have not yet been made public, after 'Djoker' gave up the Indian Wells Masters 1000. Novak appears in the Paris-Bercy entry list and is already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin, but it is not excluded that he decides to remain in the pits until the beginning of 2022.
In the meantime, the legendary Billie Jean King took part in a question and answer session with 'Junior Billie Jean King Cup' members. Answering a boy's question, King advised young people to take Djokovic as a source of inspiration for success.
Billie Jean King on Novak Djokovic
“If you listen to Novak Djokovic this year in his interviews, then you know why he’s No. 1 in the world—because he pays the price," King said. The American highlighted how Djokovic ensures he has the edge over his rivals by treating his body like a temple.
As such, King asserted that as a 16-year-old, one must look to emulate the Serb and put in the hard yards. "He’s the most fit, he’s always looking for the edge, he trains right, he stretches all the time," she added.
"So at 16 just believe in yourself, but pay the price”. Novak Djokovic last played at the US Open 2021 finals, where he lost to Daniil Medvedev. The Russian denied him his Calendar Slam and became the only player to defeat him at the Grand Slams this year.
However, even that disappointing result cannot take away from the incredible season that Nole had. He matched Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles and came within touching distance of the Calendar Slam. Nole is quite a popular athlete on social media.
He has his army of fans, called the Nolefam, and he regularly talks engages with them on Twitter and Instagram. Even at the US Open final, Djokovic received incredible support from the crowd.