Djokovic to give a shot at Steffi's Golden Slam

Steffi Golden Slam
Steffi Graf, right, outplayed Gabriela Sabatini in the gold medal match to complete a Golden Slam. File photo: AFP

As men's world number one Novak Djokovic confirmed he will compete at the Tokyo Olympics the Serb remains on course to achieve the Golden Slam in tennis.

No man has ever won the four Slams and an Olympic gold in the same year, with Germany's Steffi Graf the only player to accomplish the feat in 1988.

Steffi representing West Germany ouplayed Argentina's Gabriela Sebatini 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Seoul Olympics to achieve the rare feat of Golden Slam. The then world No. 1 had won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open before her triumph at Seoul. 

Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf in action in the 1988 Olympics final. File photo: AFP

Steffi had also triumphed in the women's singles event in the 1984 Los Angeles Games when tennis featured as a demonstration event.

Djokovic completed the third leg towards achieving the Golden Slam last weekend when he added the Wimbledon title to his Australian Open and Roland Garros triumphs in 2021.

After winning at Wimbledon, Djokovic said he was "50-50" about competing at the July 23-August 8 Games following the organisers' decision to ban fans from attending and the restrictions on the number of people he can take to the Games.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic exults after winning his sixth Wimbledon title. Photo: Reuters

But the 34-year-old said on Thursday he had booked his flight for Tokyo.

"I am very proud to pack for Tokyo and join our national team in the fight for the brightest medals on the Olympic arenas," Djokovic, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, tweeted.

"For me, the game for Serbia has always been a special joy and motivation and I will do my best to make us all happy! Let's go."

Some of the sport's biggest names, including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Simona Halep have already announced their decision to skip the Games, which has been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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