June 5, 2016: Novak Djokovic finally puts a French Open trophy in his case with his 11 other titles in tennis’ major tournaments. Djokovic beat Andy Murray in four sets in Paris to become the eighth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam with at least one victory in each of the four majors. The Serbian star finally triumphed after having reached the French Open final in three of the previous four years. Djokovic also became only the third player to win four straight majors, joining old-time legends Rod Laver and Don Budge.
Djokovic burst on the scene in 2008, winning his first major at the age of 20 at the Australian Open. He has since been ranked No. 1 in the world for a total of 387 weeks over 12 different years, both records (he’s currently No. 3). And yes, Djokovic has played in Boise once—in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Davis Cup against the United States in Taco Bell Arena. With his win at the 2021 French Open, Djokovic became the first men’s player in the Open Era to win all four majors at least twice. Rival Rafael Nadal equaled that feat with a title at the 2022 Australian Open.
Djokovic and Nadal are now tied for the most men’s major championships in history with 22 apiece, and Djokovic has an excellent chance of passing Nadal as he moves into the quarterfinals of the French Open Tuesday night. Nadal is not there, and he won’t be anywhere for the rest of the 2023 ATP tournament season. Nadal said Saturday that he expects to be out five months as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery for a left hip flexor injury.
Despite his status as one of the greatest players of all-time, Djokovic is hearing some boos in Paris. Some of the it stems from his controversial comments about Serbia and Kosovo late last week and some of it from a medical timeout he took during his third-round match. And some may be left over from his refusal to be injected with the COVID 19 vaccine, which consequently barred him from the 2022 Australian Open and U.S. Open due to vaccine mandates (although that ship should have sailed by now).
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)