World primary Novak Djokovic heads into the US Open as red-hot favorite to win his 18th Grand Slam and has performed down the absence of perennial rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Holder Nadal pulled out earlier this month attributable to novel coronavirus-related points surrounding the August 31-September 13 event at Flushing Meadows, whereas Federer will miss the remainder of the season after having knee surgical procedure in June.
Aside from their absence, with Federer boasting a file 20 main titles forward of Nadal on 19, 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka has additionally pulled out however Djokovic famous that it might nonetheless be a really sturdy area that includes a pack of gifted rivals.
“It’s certain to be bizarre that Federer and Nadal aren’t right here…” Djokovic mentioned forward of the curtain-raising Aug. 22-28 Western & Southern Open in New York. “They are going to be missed, little question, as a result of they’re legends of our sport. However aside from Federer, Nadal and Wawrinka, all one of the best gamers are there.
“It will be disrespectful to all the opposite gamers to say that I’ve a greater likelihood with out Roger and Rafa. (Dominic) Thiem, (Alexander) Zverev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Daniil)Medvedev, these guys are as sturdy because the three of us. Anybody can win, much more after six months with out the tour. We don’t actually know the way we’re going to really feel on the court docket.”
Djokovic’s resolution to enter the US Open represents a U-turn to his June statements that competing on the 2020 US Open can be “unimaginable” attributable to “excessive” Covid-19 protocols. Whereas the opposite gamers are staying in two lodges, the 33-year-old Serb selected to hire a home for the event due to what he described as a extra snug setting.
“I used to be knowledgeable of this rental alternative and I didn’t think about some other possibility to return right here,” he mentioned. “I’m grateful that I can afford it to myself and be capable of exit, have a backyard, peace and quiet. With the bushes and serenity, being in this type of setting is a blessing.
“However, nonetheless, we’re a part of the bubble, as 4 folks management the 2 entrances to the home so we can not exit with out them seeing us.”
Djokovic was in imperious kind earlier than the season was thrown into chaos in March by the novel coronavirus pandemic, having gained the Australian Open in January and Dubai Open in February. In the course of the break compelled by the virus, Djokovic organised the ill-fated Adria Tour in June, an exhibition event wherein he and three different gamers contracted COVID-19 because the occasion was devoid of social distancing measures.
Having recovered after two weeks in self-isolation, Djokovic resumed coaching and recommended he was match to face the exertions of the gruelling US Open on his favorite hardcourt floor.
“I’ve carried out a CT scan of my chest and OK, all the pieces is evident. I’ve carried out a number of checks since my destructive check for the coronavirus as effectively earlier than coming to New York. I’ve carried out my blood checks, my urine checks, my stool checks, all the pieces that I probably can.”