'Novak Djokovic is the favorite, he should be more relaxed than we think,' says..



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'Novak Djokovic is the favorite, he should be more relaxed than we think,' says..

Novak Djokovic is the man in the spotlight at the upcoming US Open, chasing the 21st Major crown and a calendar Grand Slam, the first since Rod Laver in 1969! Novak has overwhelmed all Majors' challenges in 2021, winning three titles and seeking the last one in New York that would put him ahead of Federer and Nadal for the first time if he goes all the way.

The Australian legend Todd Woodbridge believes Novak left his Tokyo Olympics setback behind, heading fresh to New York after skipping Toronto and Cincinnati. For Woodbridge, Novak is the first favorite at the US Open due to his experience and incredible mental strength and well-balanced strokes.

The young guns should challenge a grand champion, but the Aussie still places him above them. Novak should meet Matteo Berrettini or Hubert Hurkacz in the quarters, Alexander Zverev in the semis and Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Todd Woodbridge backs Novak Djokovic to claim the US Open title.

"The Olympic Games forced Novak to get away and take a break. No lead-up tournaments, which is a bit of a different scenario for him. Novak is going to approach it the same way as he does between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

So it's new and fresh, and it's obviously a different challenge altogether. I think he's going to come into this US Open more relaxed than we might expect. Definitely, he's the favorite. We assume he is fit, and he is the cleanest ball-striker out there in that case.

I think Novak's focus is extraordinary. He is the one being hunted. In my experience of playing at the US Open, you needed to be fresh mentally to enjoy New York. You often find breakthroughs from younger players there because they get this absolute lift from it all.

This chasing crop has still got more to go, but they are better players than they were two years ago, and they keep getting experience and are learning from it. That will make this more challenging for Novak. To get to this point of chasing a calendar Grand Slam is extraordinary – Taylor Fritz had him on the ropes in the third round of the Australian Open, and he was two sets to love down against both Lorenzo Musetti and Tsitsipas at Roland Garros.

Novak had been a couple of points or ten minutes from the defeat on several occasions, and he overcame all that. Everything has fallen his way. Who knows what happens in New York? That's why this script is going to be so riveting to unfold," Todd Woodbridge said.