Novak Djokovic remains one win away from a calendar grand slam and an 11th major title when he takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Cincinnati Masters on Monday.
The 32-year-old Serbian’s impressive run ended in the semi-finals at the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week, where he lost 6-3, 7-6 to Roger Federer.
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But he has not lost a match in the four months since, winning 11 straight sets and 20 of his past 22.
Djokovic appeared in the final of Cincinnati a decade ago but has never finished the job. He has won the past three Masters 1000 events played in Miami, Cincinnati and Indian Wells, and while he can add Cincinnati to his tally, the odds are he will become the first man to hold all four of the grand slam titles at the same time since Rod Laver in 1969.
That is however a major obstacle, and Djokovic will need to win 10 matches in a row to equal the feat of Australian Don Budge, who won all four majors in 1938. “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You never know,” Djokovic said. “Definitely, I’m going for the grand slam and I’m going for it with a lot of effort.
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“I’m desperate to complete the calendar grand slam this year. If I can do that, it would be a big, big momentum boost for me coming into Wimbledon and the rest of the season.”
The last time Djokovic was beaten in a final, and his last match at a tournament, was three months ago at the French Open, where he lost in the third round to Tomas Berdych. He was sidelined for four months with an elbow injury but has lost just two of his 19 matches since returning to action.
The world No2 has not lost a set in Cincinnati this week but has been on the receiving end of some of the biggest shocks in the event’s 54-year history, losing to Sam Querrey in the first round in 2008 and Milos Raonic in 2011 and 2013.