This time last year Novak Djokovic’s march towards history had never been clearer; the Serb scored a third straight major victory of the season to tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 major titles apiece. Only the US Open stood between him from not only surpassing his Big 3 rivals, but also a Calendar Year Grand Slam that would definitively put him a cut above the rest.
We all know what happened since: the CYGS dream ended in a lackluster final that reduced Djokovic to tears on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and now it’s Nadal in a credible hunt for all four majors after winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros. Defying destiny in favor of an ill-advised stance, the former No. 1’s refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has cost him both his spot atop the ATP rankings and a chance to compete in the tour’s two hard-court majors. Having already missed Melbourne under cataclysmic circumstances, the US Open will likely also be off-limits barring a policy change allowing foreigners to enter the U.S. without a vaccination.
None of that has mattered thus far at the All England Club, where Djokovic has largely looked back to his unbeatable best through four matches. Might he earn some overdue redemption with a seventh Wimbledon crown?
Here’s why—and why not—he’ll make it happen.