Special year, almost historical. In 2021, the review of the men’s Grand Slam champions in singles only shows us two players. Novak Djokovic was crowned at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon (tying the all-time record of 20 Majors Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) but was thwarted at the annual Grand Slam by losing the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev.
The Serbian was breaking great marks and the United States Open arrived with the chance to make much more history. He sought to be the second man to achieve all four Grand Slam of the same season in the professional era and the first since the Australian Rod Laver in 1969, although he did not play well in the definition in New York, where in turn the Russian was clearly superior . And she couldn’t be the first tennis player overall to achieve that feat after Germany’s Steffi Graf in 1988.
Therefore, let’s see the balance of what was seen in the four Grand Slam of 2021:
On the hard courts of Melbourne, Djokovic feels right at home. The No. 1 in the world started the year with 17 Major in his record and in his best major tournament he stretched the all-time record to nine cups, the second record of one-man titles in the same Grand Slam.
In this order, Djokovic stacked his seven wins to reach his 18th Grand Slam: he beat the French Jeremy Chardy, the Americans Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, the Canadian Milos Raonic, the German Alexander Zverev, the Russian Aslan Karatsev (the big surprise of the contest) and Medvedev.
On the clay of Paris, Djokovic had the great pleasure of recovering and winning a semi-final of very high flight to the Spanish Rafael Nadal, owner of 13 crowns at Roland Garros. And then he rallied from a 0-2 deficit in sets to Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the grand final to become the first man in the entire era open to professionalism, since 1968, to win at least twice each of the four Grands. Individual slam.
In order, the Serbian beat the American Tennys Sandgren, the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, the Italian Lorenzo Musetti (after giving up the first two sets), the Italian Matteo Berrettini, Nadal and finally Tsitsipas. Thus, it came to 19 Major in their showcases.
On the legendary London turf, Djokovic prevailed for the sixth time, equaling the men’s all-time Grand Slam record of 20 held by Federer and Nadal. Thus, for the third time in his great career, the Serbian won three Major in a single season, as in 2011 and 2015, but with the particularity that in 2021 he won the top three of the calendar.
Djokovic, in this order, achieved his seven victories at La Catedral: he defeated the British Jack Draper, the South African Kevin Anderson, the American Denis Kudla, the Chilean Cristian Garin, the Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, the Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Berrettini.
In the hot New York concrete, all eyes were on whether Djokovic could emulate Laver. But the Serbian climbed to the final suffering more than necessary and added 27 wins in a row in the year among the four Grand Slam, until he was crossed by an inspired, solid and determined Medvedev, who beat him in three sets and so left without the dream record of 21 Major.
The Russian celebrated, in this order, to stay with his first Grand Slam, surprising many and crowning himself champion: he beat the French Richard Gasquet, the German Dominik Koepfer, the Spanish Pablo Andujar, the British Daniel Evans, the Dutch Botic van de Zandschulp, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Djokovic. Thus the circle of the four Grand Slam closed in 2021.