Laver backs Djokovic for Grand Slam

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

The last man to win the calendar Grand Slam believes Novak Djokovic can go all the way.

As Wimbledon is set to begin, Djokovic is already halfway there, having won the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

Rod Laver, 77, was the last man to achieve tennis’ ultimate achievement back in 1969 and says the Serb has got a great chance of following in his footsteps.

"I think he's got a good shot at pulling it off and I'd be happy seeing it," Laver recently told AP. "You don't own the territory. It's a feather in his cap if he can pull off a Grand Slam. He's got two already."

Djokovic already holds all four Grand Slam titles at the same time after finally winning the French Open for the first time this month, but now he has a great chance of winning them all in the same year.

“Owning the four at one time, it's one hell of an effort," said the Australian.

"You don't start off by thinking, 'I'm going to win a Grand Slam.' My thoughts were just, 'Hey, I'm in the event. I entered. That's what happened in '69.”

No one has come near to repeating Laver’s feat in the men’s game, with Jim Courier the last man to even come close when he won the first two slams of the year in 1992.

In the women’s game Steffi Graf did it in 1988, and Serena Williams went agonisingly close last year, winning the first three slams before losing in the semi-final of the US Open.

Still, Laver reckons the ultra-focussed Serb can do it this year as he has the game.

“His consistency and the depth in his groundstrokes. He's not allowing any of the guys to take advantage of a shorter ball and try and penetrate. If the ball is too deep you can't do too much," said Laver.

The only challenge, he believes will be for Djokovic to withstand the obvious pressure.

"It'll be a tough test. The only thing he's got to worry about, the only thing I worried about, was that you've got to play seven matches. That's all you've got to play. … I think it's very possible he can pull it off."

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