Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2021

Djokovic marks unwanted anniversary with well-fought Wimbledon win

It might not be the happiest day of the year in the memory of Novak Djokovic, but he marked it with another win on his quest for a 20th Slam title.

The world No. 1 faced American Denis Kudla on Court One for a place in the fourth round.

The match came exactly five years after Djokovic suffered a major upset at the hands of Sam Querrey in a very similar situation to the Serb’s season so far this year.

In 2016, Djokovic already had the Australian Open and the French Open under his belt earlier in the year, as well as holding all four Grand Slams concurrently (2015 Wimbledon and US Open, 2016 Australian and French Open).

As such, the Calendar Grand Slam, and by extension the Golden Slam, were on for the Serbian.

But Querrey rained on that parade to send the defending champion home in the third round, with Djokovic eventually losing in the first round of the Olympics and falling to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

In 2021, Djokovic finds himself in almost the same position. While he does not hold all four Slams, he has won the Australian and French Opens, with the Calendar (and Golden) Slam still on if he wins Wimbledon, the US Open (and the Olympics).

Djokovic made sure that history would not repeat itself on the anniversary, holding off a spirited effort from Kudla the qualifier to win in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).