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Djokovic, who is chasing a historic Calendar Slam, has been given quite a tricky draw. The World No. 1 will open his campaign against a qualifier, but will likely face big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.
World number one Novak Djokovic continues his quest for two unique records, i.e to be complete the calendar slam and break the three-way tie he is in right now for 20 titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
It has been a phenomenal year for the Serb, who won the Aussie Open (defeating Medvedev), French Open (defeating Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (defeating Berrettini) and in turn set himself up for a shot at the Golden Grand Slam in an Olympic year.
"The Tokyo Olympics, I have kind of been waiting for them for eight years almost, because I didn't make it to the Rio one. I felt like everyone kept asking me about the Tokyo Olympics I guess every year from that point.
"So I feel very sad about how I did there, but also a little bit happy I didn't lose in the first round, as well, because I haven't played in a minute. Even the circumstances that it was held in, I was really glad to be able to experience all that. And lighting the torch and stuff like that, it was fun for me. I definitely think it will be like a really big memory for me.
"I feel like definitely [lighting the torch is] a moment that I'll be the proudest of myself. I think my ojiisan was probably yelling at his TV when it happened. It was definitely surreal. I had to do a rehearsal the night before, but it felt very top secret. I didn't know I was the first tennis player to carry the torch, but definitely that's something that I'll remember in my heart."
"I'm pretty open when it comes to press conferences. I feel like I have been that way my whole life. There are times where I would say there are people that I don't know that well that ask me really, really sensitive questions, and then especially after a loss [it] kind of amplifies a bit. So I would say even repetitive questions, like questions we have been asked before, but maybe you guys weren't there at the previous press conference, just like maybe read transcripts.
"I'm not a professional in press conferences or anything, but, yeah, just to make it a bit more of a friendlier experience, I would say."
The 2021 US Open will see a return to normalcy of some sort, as crowds will be allowed this year after the pandemic-induced barrenness of 2020. But there is something decidedly not normal about the New York Slam this time; there will be no Serena Williams or Venus Williams in the women's draw, signaling the end of an era.
Fortunately, the new leaders of the women's tour are all accounted for. World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty leads the field on the back of a truly dominant season, with defending champion Naomi Osaka looking to pull one back at her favorite hunting ground.
The good news from the draw is that the two best players of the last two years, Barty and Osaka, have been drawn in opposite halves so they can't meet before the final. But the bad news is that only one of those two players is coming in with any sort of form, so that much awaited showdown may not even happen.
Will that make her more relaxed than usual at the US Open, and therefore even more dangerous? We'll know soon enough; after an innocuous opener against Vera Zvonareva, Barty might have to face rising teenager Clara Tauson in the second round. The World No. 1 has shown a certain vulnerability in the early rounds of tournaments lately, and the big-hitting Tauson is exactly the kind of player who can take advantage of that.
The teenager broke early in the second and although the world number one broke back immediately, the set headed for a tiebreak which was won 7-5 by Rune.
There was no looking back for Djokovic after that as he came out all guns blazing in the third, and aided by a Rune leg injury, closed the next two matches dropping only three games and booking a spot in the second round, continuing his quest for more greatness.
While Struff can be dangerous on his day, Djokovic has the game to handle the German and should not have much trouble advancing to the third round.
The three-time US Open champion is then slated to face either Kei Nishikori or David Goffin. While Nishikori beat Djokovic at this tournament in epic fashion in 2014, he has been a non-factor against the Serb since then.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will continue his quest for the Calendar Slam when he takes on Tallon Griekspoor in the second round of the 2021 US Open on Thursday.
Djokovic beat Danish teenager Holger Rune 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-1 in the first round on Tuesday. The top seed was in complete shoppingmode control in the first set but Rune raised his level in the second to race to a 3-0 lead. Djokovic fought back to draw level but lost the set in a tiebreak.
Goffin, meanwhile, is on a five-match losing streak and might have a tough task getting past Citi Open finalist Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.
I think sometimes after big wins - and I felt it both times after the French Open and after Wimbledon - there's been a little bit of a big crash, more emotionally than anything else, because there's so much invested into that event. But I'm so incredibly lucky to have such a good team around me who can put things into perspective and then also lift me up and lighten things up, typically those weeks after big events.
I remember after the French Open, Tyzz and I, we went off and played golf for a week at the Belfry in the UK. A lot of the time we were kind of just relaxing, chilling, spending time away from each other. We'd spend a lot of time together. And then being able to flip a switch and say, we've got another opportunity at Birmingham here. You love the grass, go out there and enjoy it. I think when I bring that enjoyment back into the tennis instantly, I find that my game kind of flows on over.
Ahead of the draw, which will be released at noon on Thursday, Aug. 26, we break down the projected Top 32 seeds at the final Slam of the season. Led by World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who comes in fresh off winning Cincinnati for her second hardcourt WTA 1000 title this season, No.2 seed and Wimbledon semifinalist Aryna Sabalenka and reigning US Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, here are the numbers behind the Top 32 seeds in New York.
Sakkari has a solid all-round game and her physique allows her to come out on top in long rallies from the baseline. She also has a strong first serve. Her go-to shot is her backhand, which she uses to spread the court and create openings.
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While he lost to eventual gold medalist Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics , he has talked about being even more motivated this fortnight to scalp the calendar slam.
The Serb started his campaign against Grand Slam debutante and 18-year-old Holger Rune from Denmark and it looked like a clinical Djokovic match as he clinched the opener 6-1.
Marta Kostyuk also enjoys slugging it out from the baseline. She is much more aggressive than Sakkari and likes to hit winners early in the rally.
Tipped to be a future Grand Slam champion, Kostyuk will be raring to make an impact at Flushing Meadows. We expect her to upset the 17th seed and advance to the second round.
We are still awaiting the final schedule of the tennis calendar but according to sources, the competition could kick-start from Monday, August 30.
The 2020 US Open tennis competition began on Monday, August 31 and went on for two weeks till Sunday, September 13 when the men’s singles final was played. Organised by the USTA, the qualifiers, which are typically held in the week before the first round of the tournament, were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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