Novak Djokovic had one of the best individual seasons in tennis history in 2021 when the Serbian went on to win 3 Grand Slam titles and reached the finals of the 4th Slam coming very close to becoming only the second man in the Open Era to win all the Grand Slams in a calendar year and achieve the ‘Calendar Slam’.
Djokovic started 2021 with 17 Grand Slam titles to his name and ended the season with 20 majors to his name thus going level with fellow Big-3 members Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the trio is now in a race to see who becomes the first to 21 Grand Slam titles.
With the tennis GOAT debate getting more heat after Novak’s heroics in 2021, former World No. 8 and 2-time Grand Slam runner-up Mark Philippoussis spoke on who does he back for the GOAT title and how Novak won not only Slams but a great number of fans as well in the 2021 season.
“In the best of five sets, Djokovic is an animal. To beat him in that format, you have to play a hell of a game and I think that at the US Open, after his loss in the final against Daniil Medvedev, he never gave himself a chance because he was very nervous. The best part about it was that he showed how human he was,” said Mark in his interview with Skysports.
“He won over a lot of fans that day – when he collapsed it showed how much that meant to him as he maybe looked quite cold on the court. When he’s done, he’ll beat all the numbers in all areas of tennis,” added Mark, who was instrumental in Australia’s twin Davis Cup victories in 1999 and 2003 and also in the 1999 Hopman Cup.
Novak Djokovic went 55-7 in 2021
Apart from a 3rd round defeat at the Monte Carlo Masters, Novak reached the semi-finals of all the 11 tournaments he played in. He won tour titles in Belgrade Open and Paris Masters while he won the Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open, the French Open and the Wimbledon Championships.
He was runner-up at the Rome Masters and the US Open while reaching the semi-finals at the Serbian Open, Tokyo Olympics and the ATP Finals as he finished the season with a 55-7 record.