The 25-year-old Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor secured the US Open berth following many withdrawals among the players ranked above him. Still, Tallon was practicing on clay last week instead of heading to New York, having trouble getting a visa and receiving the last-minute call from the USTA that he can come to New York and compete at the season's last Major.
Tallon qualified for the main draw at Majors twice, including this year's Wimbledon, where he lost in the opening round to Alexander Zverev. Using his opportunity to compete at the US Open with both hands, Griekspoor earned the first Major victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, prevailing in five sets after over three and a half hours to set the clash against world no.
1 Novak Djokovic! Praising the 20-time Major champion, Griekspoor stated that you can not get a more formidable challenge than facing Novak on the hard court and that he wants to enjoy that one. Djokovic beat the young Dane Holger Rune in four sets in the opening round and will be the favorite against the Dutchman too.
Novak Djokovic will face Tallon Griekspoor in the US Open second round.
"I can not believe that I'm playing against Novak Djokovic; that's crazy. It will be tough, as you can not find bigger challenges than facing Novak on hard court.
It's probably going to be on Arthur Ashe, the biggest tennis stadium in the world. I had problems with my visa, and I decided to practice on clay on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. On Thursday, the USTA sent me an email and told me I'm ready to go.
I respect Novak and the fact he has been at the top for so long. Rafa and Roger were there before him, and Novak came and basically destroyed every record in the book. The guy has been so solid through the years, he has been so good for so long.
Novak is the game's legend. It's going to be very tough but also exciting at the same time. I really enjoy playing the big guys on the big courts; it's such an honor. They are not going to be around for so long. This is why you practice and play tennis, and I'm really looking forward to facing Novak on Thursday," Tallon Griekspoor said.