Novak Djokovic had to deal with his first real setback this season at the Tokyo Olympics. Despite the efforts accumulated in recent months, the Serbian phenomenon had decided to fly to Japan to wear the gold medal in singles and rock the dream 'Calendar Golden Slam' (a feat that was only successful for the legendary Steffi Graf).
Everything seemed set for the triumph of Nole, who led by a set and a break in the semifinal against Alexander Zverev. The number 1 in the world, however, was abandoned by his physique right on the most beautiful, having lost ten of the last eleven games of the challenge.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade has chosen to forgo the Masters 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati, in order to be in 100% form for the start of the US Open. His debut in the last Grand Slam of the season will take place tonight against young talent Holger Rune.
If he wins at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic would rise to 21 Majors and score a legendary 'Calendar Grand Slam' During the Australian Open Show, Jim Courier analyzed Novak's situation in detail.
Jim Courier on Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic finished fourth in both men's singles and mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics, failing in his bid to win the Golden Slam this year after suffering losses to Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Jim Courier put that down to the Serb's mental and physical fatigue following his triumphs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. "I think we saw, in Tokyo, the frustration of trying to do it when he wasn't fresh, trying to get that gold medal and go for the Golden Slam, and try and tie Steffi Graf in that regard," Courier said.
The American claimed it would be "fun to watch" Djokovic navigating his way through the New York draw, even if the pressure might get too much eventually. "I think that (rest after Olympics) will do him a world of good," Courier said.
"But I do think that the pressure is going to be heavy on his shoulders, and I'm not sure he's going to be able to manage it, but it's going to be fun to watch." World No. 1, Novak Djokovic has played some of his best tennis this year and he has the titles to show for it.
Courtesy of his form and consistency, he is now on the verge of etching his name in the history books of the sport. Novak begins his US Open journey, aiming for success to become the first player in men’s tennis to win the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon Championship, and the US Open, all in one season, since 1969.