Serbia’s Novak Djokovic beat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in four sets Sunday at Wimbledon to take the men’s singles final. That sets him up for a potential Calendar Year Grand Slam if he triumphs at the US Open, and a Calendar Year Golden Slam, if he also wins the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Djokovic won 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 major championships. If he wins at the US Open, it would be the first men’s Calendal Year Grand Slam in more than 50 years, the last to achieve it being Rod Laver in 1969.
The 34-year-old Djokovic has swept the first three majors of 2021, and potentially could be labeled the best men’s player ever if he wins his 21st major title at the US Open. He is yet to win Olympic gold, having come close on multiple occasion.
The only tennis player to ever achieve a Calendar Year Golden Slam — winning all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in the same year — was Steffi Graf in 1988. Previously committed to play in Tokyo, Djokovic said he was 50-50 on going to Japan following his Wimbledon win.
The controversial Djokovic battled a crowd that was clearly behind the underdog Berrettini in the match, frequently chanting his first name. Berrettini had never made a Slam-event Final, and when Djokovic fell behind love-40 in the third set, the crowd noise for Berrettini reached a crescendo.Djokovic seemed to waive it on, and then rallied for five straight points.
The US Open will begin Aug. 30, with the men’s final on Sept. 12.