‘I would be very happy to shake Novak Djokovic’s hand if he can win all four Slams this year’: Rod Laver

Two-time Calendar Slam winner Rod Laver is excited to welcome World No.1 Novak Djokovic to the elite club, if the Serbian superstar can win the 2021 US Open.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

20-time Grand Slam Novak Djokovic has always chased records in his celebrated career. Currently, the Serbian superstar stands at a position where he has shattered almost all feats the sport has to offer.

That said, the 2021 US Open is going to be a lot different, perhaps a feat that will escalate Djokovic’s status to an unparalleled level. The World No.1 is on the threshold of winning a calendar Slam on the tour this year.

After winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, if Djokovic can replicate his heroics in New York, then he will become only the second man to win the Calendar Slam in the Open Era, after the legendary Rod Laver.

The 11-time Major winner, Laver achieved the Grand Slam, first in 1962 (pre-open era) and then repeated the feat in 1969. Speaking to the associated, the Aussie left-hander said that he would be proud and happy to welcome Djokovic to the elite club.

“I would be very happy to shake his hand if he can win all four slams this year. I would be happy if he was part of this club. When Donald Budge did it in 1938, and I did it in ’62,” he said, “We’re in a special club here. There are only two of us who are part of it.”

Pressure can bother Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

The 70-year-old also had a word of caution for the 34-year-old Djokovic. Laver said, it will be interesting to see how the top seed handles the pressure in New York.

“I never said I was aiming for the Grand Slam, its pressure. And Djokovic wants to talk about it so it could hurt him. I think the pressure is the only thing that could be a problem for Djokovic. Maybe he’s not feeling well. There are a lot of things that can go wrong,” concluded Laver. 

The former three-time US Open Djokovic will kick start his journey of winning the title in New York against a qualifier Holger Rune on August 31.

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Vivek has been writing on cricket & tennis for over a decade. He has worked with famous brands-- Mid-Day, Mumbai Indians & Dream11. He has also been to Grand Slams, Davis Cups & ATP tournaments. He also plays tennis at the club level. Besides being a Rafael Nadal fan, he has also enjoyed the privilege of interviewing the Spaniard.