Former world No. 1 Nikola Pilic has advised Serbia's Novak Djokovic to play the US Open if he can have a proper preparation for the Grand Slams that's staged at Flushing Meadows. The US Open organizers have received the green light to proceed with the tournament as initially scheduled from August 31 - September 13 but players will have to follow strict hygiene restrictions during the tournament.
17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was the biggest name to criticize US Open's strict hygiene restrictions as he described them as "extreme" and "almost impossible." However, it appears that Djokovic's stance on the US Open has changed a bit lately and he could still appear at Flushing Meadows this year.
"I don't know if Novak has already decided to play in New York. If he can train every day and has the opportunity to prepare for matches in the right way, then I would advise him to participate in the US Open. Although, the question is what will happen in the next month, because there is still chaos in America when it comes to the issue of the corona epidemic, which takes more than 1000 lives a day," Pilic told Glas Srpske.
Pilic thinks Djokovic would be the main favorite to win the US Open
Roger Federer, a record 20-time Grand Slam champion, won't be playing at the US Open this year after he underwent a season-ending knee surgery last month.
On the other side, it wouldn't be surprising at all if record 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal decided to skip the US Open. The French Open starts on September 27 -- just two weeks after the US Open final. "Yes, Novak would be a big favorite, but that does not mean that he will win the tournament.
You have to put on two good weeks, you must not have a "black day" Anything can happen, there are no guarantees for anything," Pilic added. Djokovic received a lot of criticism for what happened at the Adria Tour and some of the criticism the Serb received appeared to be with malicious intent.
"It does not suit the Western mainstream (media) that one small Serbia has the best (tennis player) in the world. That is why Federer and Nadal are raised to the heavens, and Nole deserves much more. Such an unfair attitude has been Djokovic's "fuel" for the last ten years," Pilic added.