Despite being the big favorite to clinch his fourth US Open title, Novak Djokovic will be under enormous pressure in New York considering the stakes. The world number 1 hopes not only to become the first man in history to win 21 Slams (thereby bypassing eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), but also wants to create a legendary ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. Suffice it to say that the only one to succeed in such a feat in the Open Era was Rod Laver back in 1969. The Serbian champion has returned from the heavy Olympic disappointment, given that his goal was to bring home the gold medal in singular. Alexander Zverev stopped his race in the semifinals, benefiting from a psycho-physical collapse of Nole in the second part of the match. Djokovic missed both of the American Masters 1000 to recharge his batteries and make it 100% to the last Grand Slam of the season. In a recent interview with ‘Tennis365’, former British number 1 Greg Rusedski dwelt at length on Novak’s chances in the Big Apple.
Rusedski talks about Novak Djokovic
“This is the most pressured Slam Novak Djokovic will go into in his life,” Greg Rusedski said. “Yes there is no Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, but Medvedev is playing great, Tsitsipas and Zverev are playing great, this will be pressure at its highest. This is for No 21, to put him ahead of Roger and Rafa and to give him the Calendar Grand Slam. That’s why this US Open is going to be so special and we wait to see how he deals with it.” Rusedski cited the example of Serena Williams at the 2015 US Open to illustrate his point. The American arrived in New York six years ago with the first three Majors under her belt. “We saw what the pressure did to Serena Williams when she tried to complete the calendar Grand Slam in 2015 and in the final matches, it was too much. Pressure can build and build, but he knows the three-out-of-five set format should play into his hands at the US Open,” Rusedski said. Heading into Flushing Meadows, the Serb shares the record for the most Grand Slam victories with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. However, with his two major adversaries out of the US Open, Djokovic looks an overwhelming favorite to make history before the end of 2021. Along with being one of the most successful, Novak Djokovic is one of the most popular tennis players. While he looks to set benchmarks on the court, he’s one of the most sought-after names by several brands across the world.