World number one Novak Djokovic targets winning a 'golden slam' in 2012
Djokovic retained his Australian Open title after an epic win over Rafael Nadal
The Serb is targeting the remaining three major titles as well as Olympic gold
It’s only been done once in tennis history, but world number one Novak Djokovic believes he can win the “golden slam” – all four major tournaments plus Olympic gold – in 2012.
Speaking exclusively to CNN’s Pedro Pinto after being named as the Laureus Sportsman of 2011, Djokovic revealed that he was confident of adding this year’s other top tennis prizes to his recent Australian Open success.
Only former women’s No. 1 Steffi Graf has achieved the feat, in 1998, but Djokovic already has his sights on winning gold for Serbia in London, as well as retaining his Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles and claiming his first French Open success.
“The Olympic Games is certainly high on my priority list this year,” Djokovic said. “I had the privilege of being part of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and won a bronze medal for my country.
“The difference is that I will be representing my country, rather than myself, and that’s something that I am really looking forward to.”
He added: “Obviously it will be a hard task to win the ‘golden slam’ but the thought excites me.
“It gives me goose bumps and little butterflies in the stomach when I start thinking about the ‘golden slam.’ You have to consistently be successful to be one of the top players in the world, and everything is possible in life.”
Djokovic also admitted that he is still on a high after his epic five-set victory over Rafael Nadal, in a match being acclaimed as the greatest grand slam final in history.
“It was definitely the most exciting match that I ever played in. It was six hours, against my biggest rival, so we made history that night and unfortunately there had to be only one winner,” the 24-year-old said.
“I think the great thing about the whole occasion is that 15,000 people stayed in their seats until 1:30 a.m. and I think 4:30 p.m. was the time that I left to go back to my hotel, so it was quite a long night!”
Djokovic’s victory over Nadal means he has now beaten the Spaniard in the last three grand slam finals. However, the Serb still believes his rival is the man to beat once again this year.
“Rafa is definitely one of the greatest, if not the greatest, competitor there is in tennis history. He never gives up, fights for every point and never gives you an easy unforced error,” Djokovic said.
“He is constantly out on the practice courts, wanting to improve, and I think that’s the beauty of men’s tennis at the moment – we all want to improve and are taking each other onto another level.”