The US Open 2021 will be a very special tournament for Novak Djokovic, who has to manage a pressure that not even a phenomenon of his caliber is used to. The number 1 in the world will in fact go hunting for his 21st Major, which would allow him to beat his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (both absent in New York due to injury).
If successful at Flushing Meadows, the Serbian veteran would also succeed in completing the Grand Slam, thus becoming the second man in the Open Era to succeed after the legendary Rod Laver. It will not be easy for the 34-year-old from Belgrade to grab his fourth title in the Big Apple, although several illustrious absences have cut down this year’s edition.
He will also miss defending champion Dominic Thiem, a victim of a wrist problem that will keep him out for the rest of the season. In the traditional press conference before the start of the tournament, Nole admitted that he is looking forward to taking the field. The first obstacle in his path answers to the name of Holger Rune, with whom he has trained several times in Monte Carlo. “I think it’s an easy question,” Novak Djokovic said.
“Yes, it would be (his biggest achievement). Obviously I know how big of an opportunity is in front of me here in New York where historically I’ve played really well over the years. It’s probably the most entertaining tennis court that we have. Crowd will be back in the stadium.” The Serb further said he does not wish to add any additional pressure on himself even though he believes he “thrives” in such situation.
“As I said, I’m very inspired to play my best tennis here,” said Novak Djokovic. “I don’t want to say it’s now or never for me because I think I’m going to have more opportunities in my life to win Slams. I don’t know if I’m going to be having more opportunities to win Calendar Slams.
That’s why it’s a very unique opportunity. At the same time, I don’t need to put any additional pressure to what I already have. But I thrive under pressure, as well,” continued the Serb. “I’ve done that many times in my career. Pressure is a privilege, it truly is. This is what you work for day in, day out, all your life, to put yourself in a unique position to win Grand Slams and to make history. At the end of the day I’m a big tennis fan, fan of history I admire this sport. I love it. I have this chance, and I’m going to try to use it.”