‘I was the first person to beat Novak Djokovic on…’, says Top 10

Novak Djokovic was almost unstoppable in the first half of 2021, having posted the first Grand Slams by bending as many Next Gen exponents in the finals. The number 1 in the world will try to complete the opera in New York, where last year he lived one of the darkest pages of his glorious career. If he were to triumph for the fourth time in the Big Apple, Nole would become the second player in the Open Era to complete the Grand Slam after Rod Laver. The eventual conquest of the 21st Major would also allow him to beat his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the first time. The Swiss and the Spaniard are both in the pits due to injury, so it will be up to the youngsters to try to trip the 34-year-old from Belgrade. Among the main suspects to put a spoke in the wheel is Alexander Zverev, who is experiencing perhaps the best moment of his entire career. The German won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, recovering Djokovic in the semifinals, and won in the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati. In a press conference after dismissing Sam Querrey in the first round of the US Open, Sascha revealed that he has big ambitions for this tournament.

Alexander Zverev on Novak Djokovic

“If a guy wins three majors in the same year and then is at the US Open, you have to give him the favourite card. Because if not now, then when? He’s won three majors,” said Alexander Zverev in a press conference. “To be honest, I think I was the first person to beat Novak Djokovic on a hard court or grass court this season, and I was also the only person to beat him at a very, very big event this year. Everything else he’s won. I mean yeah, he’s the favourite. No question about that. But I think other guys are very hungry. I have been playing good. I’ve won two tournaments, I’m on a 12-match winning streak. I hope I can keep the level up and maybe even play better, because to beat Novak here is going to be an extremely difficult task.” Zverev defeated Sam Querrey in straight sets in the first round at Flushing Meadows. He will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the next round. The 24-year-old added: “I mean, Sam is somebody that on a hard court is extremely dangerous. Especially on a fast surface. I think [at] Wimbledon he was in the semi-finals. “So he was serving extremely well today. I’m happy to win in three sets, because a match like that can get out of your hands very quickly, and I’m happy to kind of have it under control.”