Novak Djokovic and the "True" Grand Slam

As we approach Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic is attempting to achieve something in men's tennis that hasn't been done for 47 years. A Grand Slam. In recent years the media has coined variations including "Non- Calendar" Grand Slam, "Career" Grand Slam, "Serena" Grand Slam and "Novak" Grand Slam. But according to the late Bud Collins, one of the greatest tennis journalists ever, "Grand Slam" meant only one thing:  the feat of winning all four major tournaments—Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Openin the same calendar year.  Even calling any of the four majors a "Grand Slam" tournament is a mistake.

Rod Laver, in 1969, was the last player to win it; he is also the only player, man or woman, to have done it twice. His 1969 Grand Slam title was preceded by another one in 1962. 

If Novak closes this deal, a case can even be made that he will have done it under much more difficult conditions. When Donald Budge and Rod laver won it, three of the four majors (Australian, Wimbledon and US Open) were played on grass and only the French was on clay. Today the players have three different surfaces to deal with, since the Australian and the US Open became hard court championships.

If he does want it, the next big question in tennis may be: Is Novak Djokovic the best tennis player the game has ever seen?