Novak Djokovic, The best tennis player in the world ranking, he was the protagonist in recent months for various reasons, such as for having organized an exhibition tournament in the Balkans that ended with several people infected with Covid-19 (including himself). In addition, he was one of the first to decline the chance to travel to New York to participate in the US Open (“Playing there is difficult, I would say impossible,” he said in June). However, The Serbian confirmed that he will arrive in the United States next Saturday to play the Cincinnati tournament (from August 22, also in Flushing Meadows) and the US Open, scheduled from the 31st of the current month.
“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me very excited,” said Djokovic. And he continued: “I am aware that this time it will be very different with all the protocols and security measures that are implemented to protect the players and the people of New York. However, I have trained hard with my team and have put in shape my body so I am prepared to adapt to the new conditions. I did all the checks to make sure I’m fully recovered and ready to go back on the court fully committed to playing my best tennis. “
It seemed highly unlikely that Nole, being only three Grand Slam titles away from equaling Roger Federer’s record, would not travel to the US Open. and missed the opportunity to discount a major to the Swiss. Much more when the Spanish Rafael Nadal, 2019 champion in the New York contest, announced that he would not travel.
Djokovic, 33, had said last June that the health and safety protocol that the US Open authorities intended to apply were “extreme and impossible to fulfill”. But two months later he changed his mind. At that time, even the American tennis player Danielle Collins (52nd in the world ranking) pointed out to Nole: “It would be good if [Djokovic] support the idea of the tournament being played instead of spoiling it. It’s easy to say you don’t play when you’ve won $ 150 million. Many of us need to go back to work to make money. “
Djokovic, winner of 17 Grand Slam trophies, conquered the US Open three times, the last in 2018. That same year he won his only title at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.