All eyes are on this Sunday for the US Open final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. A Serb triumph could make him the first player since Australian Rod Laver (in 1969) to win all Grand Slam titles in one season.
But before Djokovic enters the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, another star has already accomplished the feat. 25-year-old Dutchwoman Diede de Groot lifted the US Grand Slam champion’s trophy on Sunday and collected all four majors cups in 2021 – she had already won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
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Dutchwoman Diede de Groot with US Open 2021 Champion Trophy — Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
In fact, Diede had an even more impressive campaign than Djokovic’s. Because, in addition to the four Slams, the European also won the gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics this month.
The Serb tried for gold at the Olympics in the Japanese capital, but finished fourth in the singles bracket after being defeated by German Alexander Zverev, in the semifinal, and by Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta, in the bronze decision.
Diede de Groot at US Open Final — Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Diede has 12 Grand Slam trophies in singles and another 12 in doubles, for a total of 24.
This Sunday, the Dutch, number 1 in the world ranking and first seed in New York, won by 2 sets to 0 the Japanese Yui Kamiji, vice leader of the ranking. The two had, by the way, decided on the gold medal in the Paralympics.
Among the men and women of “conventional” tennis, only Germany’s Steffi Graf achieved a Golden Slam – which includes all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold – in the same season.