Novak Djokovic opens his 2016 Grand Slam campaign in Melbourne looking to build on his stellar 2015 season. Last year, the world No. 1 won titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
But last year wasn't the first time Djokovic has won three Grand Slam titles in a year. He accomplished the feat in 2011, when he also missed out on a title at Roland Garros but won the other three Slams.
As Djokovic aims to improve upon his 2015 success this year, take a look at how Djokovic fared in Grand Slams in 2012, the last time he came off a three–Slam season.
2011 at a glance
In 2011, the Serb started off the year with a 41-match winning streak that included an Australian Open final victory against Andy Murray. It was his second Grand Slam title and the first since his 2008 win in Melbourne.
The streak would be snapped at the hands of Roger Federer in four sets in the French Open semifinals in June. Djokovic rebounded by claiming his first Wimbledon title with a four-set victory over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. For the first time since 2008, the name Federer or Nadal was not engraved on the trophy.
Djokovic closed the year with the U.S. Open title by subduing Nadal, the reigning champion, in four sets. It was the Serb's sixth victory over the Spaniard on the year. He finished the season with a 70–6 record and took control of the world No. 1 ranking.
How he fared in 2012
Australian Open (Champion)
Djokovic outlasted Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 in a test of endurance to claim the Australian Open title in a match that lasted five hours and 53 minutes. Djokovic had already spent four hours and 50 minutes overcoming Andy Murray in the semifinal just two days earlier.
“You’re trying to activate your legs, you’re trying to push yourself another point,” Djokovic said after the match. “Just one more point, one more game. You’re going through so much suffering your toes are bleeding. Everything is just outrageous, but you’re still enjoying that pain.”
French Open (Lost in final)
In his second meeting of the year with Nadal, Djokovic double-faulted on championship point to hand the win to the Spaniard. Djokovic won eight games in a row before a rain delay brought the match to a halt and delayed his chances of becoming the first man since 1969 to hold all four majors at the same time and just the third in history.
2012 Wimbledon (Lost in semifinals)
Djokovic entered the tournament as the top seed, but Roger Federer came away with his first Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open. In the semifinals, Federer upset Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. The defending champion had won six of his last seven meetings against Federer, including four of the last five in Slams.
2012 U.S. Open (Lost in final)
Djokovic fell short as Andy Murray finally won his first Grand Slam in a five-set, nearly five-hour U.S. Open final. Djokovic entered having won eight consecutive five-set matches, including a the semifinal victory over Murray in Melbourne.
Djokovic would have to wait for his sixth major trophy after winning 27 Grand Slam hard-court matches in a row.