Novak Djokovic is heading to the U.S. Open, but this time without his world number one ranking and facing a new rival who is determined to prevent him from winning his 24th Grand Slam title. However, it would be unwise to underestimate Djokovic’s chances at Flushing Meadows.
In the Wimbledon final last month, Djokovic’s quest for a calendar year Grand Slam came to an end with a five-set loss to Carlos Alcaraz. Many fans, pundits, and former players saw this as a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.
After being absent from the United States in 2022 and the early part of this year due to his vaccination status, Djokovic is now back and feeling refreshed. He insists that his hunger for success has not diminished after more than 20 years in professional tennis.
Djokovic stated, “I still have that fire and motivation to compete in the biggest sporting events, win titles, and bring joy to the crowds.” He recently won the Cincinnati crown, defeating world number one Alcaraz in a grueling final, further boosting his preparations for the U.S. Open.
Djokovic expressed his admiration for Alcaraz, describing him as an amazing player with tons of respect. He compared their rivalry to his battles with Nadal during the prime of their careers, where every point was a hustle and a battle.
Despite doubts about Djokovic’s dominance, his record on hardcourts should give his competitors pause for thought. His willingness to push his body to the limits was evident at this year’s Australian Open, where he played with a torn hamstring and still emerged as the champion.
Top coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes that Alcaraz will be a threat at Flushing Meadows but does not have the edge over Djokovic. Mouratoglou acknowledged that Djokovic was nervous in the Wimbledon final but expects him to perform better in their future encounters.
Mouratoglou also expressed confidence that Djokovic will surpass Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. However, he believes that Alcaraz will also have his share of success and predicts that both players will win Grand Slam titles in the future.
In conclusion, Djokovic may have lost his number one ranking and faced a setback at Wimbledon, but he remains a formidable contender at the U.S. Open. His hardcourt prowess and unwavering determination make him a force to be reckoned with, even against rising stars like Alcaraz.
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