Novak Djokovic wrote further pages of history in 2021, confirming that he is one of the greatest athletes of the modern era. The number 1 in the world has won three majors this year, close to the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. If successful at Flushing Meadows, the Serbian phenomenon would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to clinch all four Grand Slams in the same season. The 34-year-old from Belgrade still managed to close the gap that separated him from eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time standings. If he were to participate in the Australian Open 2022, the much desired overtaking could materialize. King Roger underwent surgery on his right knee for the third time and will not be back on the pitch until summer 2022, while Rafa is expected to attend the Happy Slam. Nole has never made any secret of having been inspired by numerous tennis players of the present and of the past. Among these, there are also the Williams sisters. During the presentation of the ‘King Richard’ film, which focuses on the rise of Venus and Serena, the 20-time Grand Slam champion sent a beautiful message.
Djokovic on Venus and Serena Williams
“Everything they do, on and off the court, is truly inspiring,” Novak Djokovic said. “The sport owes so much to the Williams sisters. Their perseverance is incredible. Their willingness to continue to write history books of our sport is something that truly motivates me and many others to follow in their footsteps.” The Serb hailed the Williams sisters as “icons of the sport”. He then went on to reminisce about the 2015 Wimbledon, where he and Serena Williams won the men’s and women’s singles trophies respectively. “I am one of the millions of fans around the world that they have. They are icons of the sport. I also consider myself a friend. I remember this one night when we won Wimbledon trophies, both Serena and I. And I dared Serena to dance with me. She was all game for it. And she’s always game for having fun. We had a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs,” the Serb added. British model Naomi Campbell, who has been friends with Venus and Serena Williams for years, also reserved praise for the tennis greats. “My relationship with Venus and Serena goes back to the 90s, getting to sneak you out to parties, making sure you’re getting back in time,” Naomi Campbell said. “Always so fun. I’m so proud of you and just in awe of you for what you’ve achieved and what you’ve done for women around the world, not just women of color. I can’t wait to see this film and I really love you both so much.”