Novak out to chase ‘Djoker Slam’
(Associated Press) - February 1, 2016 - 9:00am

MELBOURNE – Novak Djokovic has a new goal for the year. He calls it the Djoker Slam.

The No. 1-ranked player has one thing missing from his fast-growing collection of 11 Grand Slam trophies.

“The French Open. It’s the one I never won,” Djokovic said early Monday, after winning his record sixth Australian Open, but already casting an eye toward Paris. “I’ll try to put myself in a position to get that trophy.”

Djokovic’s relentless desire for tennis perfection has pushed him to a brilliant level, one that was too high for Andy Murray who lost Sunday’s final 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3). The straight-sets win highlighted Djokovic’s dominance and Murray’s shortcomings: the No. 2-ranked Murray has now played five finals in Melbourne and lost them all – including four to Djokovic.

It also stamped Djokovic’s imprint on the tournament, tying him with Roy Emerson for the most singles titles in the event’s long history. Emerson played in the 1960s and won his Australian titles in the amateur era.

Djokovic’s strong start to the season comes after a year that has been described as one of the finest in tennis history. He finished 2015 at No. 1 for the fourth time in five years. He won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

He reached the final at the French Open, but lost to Stan Wawrinka. It was his third runner-up trophy at Roland Garros.

“Each year when I go back I feel like I’m a step closer,” Djokovic said during a TV interview after the final. He was asked, if he does win at the French and manage to capture four consecutive major championships, would he give it a name? On the women’s side, Serena Williams has done it before and her feat was called the “Serena Slam.”

“Djoker Slam. Not bad, I like that one,” said the 28-year-old Serbian, referring to his nickname, the Djoker.

“No doubt that I’m playing the best tennis of my life in the last 15 months,” Djokovic said. “The results are showing that. I’m just trying to keep it up.”

With his 11th major title, Djokovic is steadily gaining on Rafael Nadal’s 14 and Roger Federer’s record 17.

The so-called Big Four of men’s tennis - Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic – has been looking more lopsided with Djokovic’s winning record. He now leads the pack with head-to-head wins over them all – Federer (23-22), Murray (22-9), Nadal (24-23).

In Melbourne, Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets in the semifinals before moving on to Murray. Nadal lost in the first-round, raising more questions about whether his Grand Slam winning days have passed. Last year was the first season since 2004 that Nadal did not win a major title.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with