Peruse the list of recent men’s Grand Slam winners and one stat jumps out: Since 2017, only Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won singles titles at the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon. And of that so-called “Big Three,” one has dominated the past year’s Slam play: the man dubbed “Nole.”
Monday, July 1, and continuing over the next fortnight on ESPN and ESPN2, Djokovic will defend his title on the grass courts of London’s All-England Club as he faces down challenges from Federer, Nadal and a host of up-and-coming talent in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.
A win here would give the 32-year-old Serb his fifth Wimbledon title (three away from Federer’s record of eight), his 16th Slam (four short of Federer’s 20) and his fourth Slam championship in the past five, having claimed victories in 2018 at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and in January at Melbourne.
There was no shame in his only Slam loss, which came last month in Paris. Battling whipping winds, Djokovic simply met his match in a good young player on his power game when he was vanquished by Austrian Dominic Thiem in a hard-fought semifinal that spanned four hours over two days because of rain. Thiem would then go on to lose in the final to Nadal, who would claim his record 12th French Open title.
That loss notwithstanding, Djokovic comes in as the odds-on favorite at London. A victory would only cement his World No. 1 ranking and his standing as one of tennis’ all-time greats.
Name: Novak Djokovic
Birth date: May 22, 1987
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia
Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches/176 pounds
Residence: Monte Carlo
Family ties: He and wife Jelena have a son and a daughter
Career singles record: 864-181
Honors and achievements: Seven-time Australian Open champion (2008, 2011-13, 2015, 2016, 2019); French Open champion (2016); four-time Wimbledon champion (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018); three-time U.S. Open champion (2011, 2015, 2018); five-time Tour Finals champion (2008, 2012-15); Olympic gold medal (2008)