Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of recreating Steffi Graf’s historic Golden Slam achievement comes to end once again following Australian Open exit
Novak Djokovic’s dream of winning a Golden Slam has ended after he exited the 2024 Australian Open in the semifinal stage.Djokovic, the defending champion, was defeated by Jannik Sinner in the semifinal of the 2024 Australian Open, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-3. This defeat broke the Serb’s 33-match winning streak at the tournament.
The result also doomed Djokovic’s aim of winning the Golden Slam, i.e., all four Grand Slams and the Olympic gold medal in a calendar year. He came close to achieving it in 2021, when he won the first three Grand Slams that year before losing to Alexander Zverev in the Olympics singles semifinals.Steffi Graf is the only singles player to win a Golden Slam – a feat she achieved in 1988. The German legend, who turned 19 in June 1988, bettered Chris Evert in the Australian Open final, Natasha Zvereva in the French Open final, Martina Navratilova in the Wimbledon final, and Gabriela Sabatini in the US Open summit clash that year.Graff represented West Germany at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and defeated Argentina’s Sabatini to win the women’s singles gold medal. Since then, no player on either tour has come close to repeating the feat. Djokovic was hoping to break that drought in 2024, but that dream has now faded.
The 24-time Grand Slam champion can still tick off one of his goals on the bucket list if he manages to win the men’s singles gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics. His best performance at the Olympics was a bronze medal win at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, China.
Novak Djokovic was the firm favorite to win his 11th title in Melbourne at the 2024 Australian Open. He was undefeated in the tournament since 2018 and began his campaign as the top seed against qualifier Dino Prizmic, who put up a tough fight to win a set.The 36-year-old survived Prizmic’s challenge and won another close contest against Alexei Popyrin in the second round. He then defeated 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry and 20th seed Adrian Mannarino with relative ease.12th seed Taylor Fritz was another resilient opponent for the 36-year-old when the two played in the quarterfinals. The Serb pulled through nevertheless with a scoreline of 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.However, his campaign ended in the semifinal against Jannik Sinner, who became the first player to defeat the Serb in the semifinals or final of the Australian Open. While he failed to defend his title, the man from Belgrade will retain his World No. 1 ranking at the end of the event.