‘When I see Novak Djokovic miss a backhand…’, says former ATP ace

Novak Djokovic will have all the spotlight on him in this edition of the US Open, which is undoubtedly the most particular tournament of his career. The stakes will be very high for the Serbian in the Big Apple, having the opportunity to write yet another page in tennis history. By winning his fourth title in New York, not only would Nole overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to 21 Majors, but he would also complete an epic ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. The number 1 in the world was no longer on the field after the disappointment at the Tokyo Olympics, in which he was the victim of a psycho-physical breakdown during the semifinal against Alexander Zverev. The 34-year-old from Belgrade has assured that he has recovered 100% and that he is looking forward to taking the field to play his cards to the end. The last memory that binds Djokovic to the US Open is not the happiest, as it is the disqualification he remedied last year for a shot against a line judge. In a long interview for the ATP website, Stan Smith made no secret of his admiration for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Stan Smith on Novak Djokovic

“When I see Novak Djokovic miss a backhand, I’m sort of surprised because he’s usually in great balance and in that match he’d maybe be out of balance one out of 15 times,” Stan Smith said. “The rest of the time he is on balance and when he’s on balance, he doesn’t miss too much. If he misses, he doesn’t miss by much.” According to Smith, Djokovic never panics even in the worst of situations, regardless of the surface. “Hardcourts might be Djokovic’s favorite surface, and so someone is going to have to play really well,” Smith said. “Having said that, he played a terrible couple of sets at the French, where he just played the first two sets in the final really badly, but came back and played great. I don’t know what it was, but it was really bad for him and I thought he was done,” Smith added. “The fact that he came back there and played great tennis, it just shows he’s got the confidence that if things go bad, he’s not going to panic. A lot of people do [panic].” High entertaining drama is about to grace the courts of New York. The iconic US Open 2021 will soon kick-start a 2 week-long journey, with a star-studded lineup heading the enthralling battles. Notably, as all gear up to fight for the title, one man’s ambitions surpass the others’. Novak Djokovic begins his tournament, aiming for the historic Calendar-Year Grand Slam.