DJOKOVIC ACES CA­REER GRAND SLAM

World No. 1 com­pletes the ca­reer Grand Slam with Paris win

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - adrian@7days.ae

I t took Roger Fed­erer 11 years to fi­nally con­quer the red clay of Roland Gar­ros. By the time he achieved that feat in 2009 his pow­ers were slightly di­min­ish­ing. To date he has won three more Grand Slam ti­tles and has firmly se­cured his place in his­tory.

It took No­vak Djokovic even longer to com­plete his ca­reer Grand Slam as he fi­nally won the French Open ti­tle at the 12th time of ask­ing.

But the Ser­bian is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down. He cur­rently holds all four slam ti­tles and it is dif­fi­cult to see any­one deny­ing him a cal­en­dar Grand Slam.

The world No. 1 could well go on to eclipse Fed­erer’s haul of 17 ma­jors such is his ut­ter dom­i­nance of the men’s game.

For one set against Andy Mur­ray he seemed hu­man. There was a string of er­rors on both wings as Djokovic pro­duced some er­ratic tennis.

Yet seem­ingly in the blink of an eye the en­tire match changed. Mur­ray be­gan to be­come frus­trated and Djokovic was able to cap­i­talise.

Men­tally he is as tough as they come. Un­der a bar­rage of bril­liance from Mur­ray, Djokovic sim­ply sucked it up and waited for his op­por­tu­nity. When it came he was clin­i­cal. In the sec­ond, third and fourth sets the 29-year-old was un­stop­pable. He com­bined power with ac­cu­racy and his de­fence was breath­tak­ing. Mur­ray sim­ply had no an­swer and was blown away.

It was a tennis les­son from a master. How Mur­ray must wish it wasn’t al­ways Djokovic in a slam fi­nal. Five times now he has been de­nied glory by his old foe.

Mur­ray will not be the only man on tour curs­ing his luck though.

Since the start of the 2011 sea­son Djokovic has ap­peared in 17 out of a pos­si­ble 22 Grand Slam fi­nals.

On 11 oc­ca­sions he has tri­umphed and with 12 in to­tal he now moves ahead of the great Bjorn Borg.

The ques­tion is how many more will he win be­fore he fi­nally hangs up his racket?

Djokovic is a supreme ath­lete and you can see him play­ing for an­other four or five years. He will surely catch Fed­erer and 20 slams seems a re­al­is­tic tar­get.

When he leaves the sport it will surely be as the great­est male to have ever played the game.

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