PARIS: Novak Djokovic admits “history is hovering” over him as he takes on Casper Ruud in the French Open final on Sunday with a men’s record 23rd Grand Slam title tantalisingly close.
The 36-year-old Serb can set numerous landmarks in what will be his seventh championship match at Roland Garros.
As well as breaking the 22-Slam tie he shares with Rafael Nadal, he can become both the tournament’s oldest champion and the only man to win all four majors on at least three occasions.
“The only thing I can say is that I’m very focused. History is always something that’s hovering over me,“ said Djokovic, the 2016 and 2021 winner in Paris and now the oldest finalist in 93 years.
Djokovic, playing his 34th Grand Slam final, can also return to the world number one ranking with victory over Ruud, replacing Carlos Alcaraz, the man he defeated in the semi-finals.
Victory on Sunday would place him once again halfway to an historic calendar Grand Slam, a sweep of all four majors in the same year which has only ever been achieved by two men.
Rod Laver accomplished it twice, the last coming in 1969.
Djokovic, however, refuses to contemplate such dominance, wary of how the pressure doomed his last bid to pocket all four Slams in the same year when he lost the 2021 US Open final to Daniil Medvedev.
“I’m not thinking about a calendar slam. I’m thinking really just to win another Grand Slam title here on Sunday, and I’m so close. I know it. I know the feeling,“ said Djokovic. -AFP