Novak Djokovic came very close to achieving an epic feat, namely the 'Calendar Grand Slam', which was only succeeded by Rod Laver in the Open Era. The world number 1 took the top three majors of the season and reached the final of the US Open, but failed to put the icing on the cake.
An understated version of the Serbian - combined with a masterful performance by Daniil Medvedev - prevented the 24,000 spectators of Arthur Ashe Stadium from seeing a beautiful page of history. A terrible disappointment for the 34-year-old from Belgrade, who nevertheless reacted with pride by promising that he will return to the field stronger than before.
It is not clear when we will see Nole in action, perhaps directly at the Australian Open 2022 according to the latest rumors. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is registered for the Indian Wells Masters 1000 next month and is already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin.
In a long interview granted to 'Stats Perform', Dominic Thiem explained how the last few months have been almost inhumane for Djokovic. He also talked about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Thiem praises the Big 3
"I think after he won in Roland Garros, everybody was only talking about the calendar slam – first about the golden slam, and then about the calendar slam," Thiem said.
"He was under pressure. Nobody can feel that or anything like that because of it being the calendar slam. And at some points it's just getting to you." Thiem, however, asserted his faith in the World No. 1's ability to bounce back and be "even stronger" for the 2022 season.
"I can feel it in a smaller way, probably from last year's final and from some other matches," Theim continued. "And so, I really felt for him as well towards the end of the match. It can happen that it also makes him even stronger next year when all these talks and all this pressure is not that big anymore," he added.
During the conversation with Stats Perform, Thiem also weighed in on the never-ending GOAT debate involving Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. "For me, there are three GOATs in the game, and each of them has achieved something very unique," Thiem said.
"So it's still the same for me as it was before. The three of them are the best in the history to me." Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has done wonders in this sport. He has been dominating the scenes for close to two decades and is the proud winner of 20 Majors and was the first man to do so. Over the years, he has beaten some of the biggest names in the game.