'Novak Djokovic is the top player that I have faced the most and...', says ATP ace

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'Novak Djokovic is the top player that I have faced the most and...', says ATP ace

Although he has failed to gain the same popularity as his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, there is no denying that Novak Djokovic is a very serious candidate for the GOAT title. The Serbian phenomenon has been the great ruler of the last decade, so much so that it has come close to the records held by the Swiss and Spanish.

With the success at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, the World number 1 has increased to 17 Slam (-2 from Nadal and -3 from Federer), in addition to being able to legitimately aspire to the record of weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.

Portuguese veteran Joao Sousa, current number 66 in the ranking, does not have a good memory of the challenges against Djokovic, to whom he has never managed to snatch even a set.

Sousa on Novak Djokovic

“Playing Novak Djokovic is like playing against a wall, it’s amazing,” Joao Sousa told Bola Amarela.

“He is the top player that I have played against the most and I have lost every time. But I want to say that each match helped me progress”. Although Sousa has never managed to break the top 25 in his career, he says he is past fearing facing the top players and he now relishes it instead.

“I made progress in my approach against the top ones,” he added. “Today, I am no longer afraid to play against the best in the world, the goal is always to try to win”. The Western & Southern Open, which is normally held in Mason, Ohio, will serve as a tune-up tournament for the U.S, Open and also be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York this year, organizers said on July 29.

The tune-up event will be staged August 20-28 and the U.S. Open main draw is set to begin on August 31 without spectators. World's top two-ranked male players Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain and women's tennis giant Serena Williams have all entered next month's Western & Southern Open.

Despite the fact that the U.S. has been seeing a daily rise in new COVID-19 cases, organizers said defending champions Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Madison Keys of the U.S. are also among the initial entries. Main draw play for the Western & Southern Open will begin on August 22 followed by semi-finals on August 27. Both singles finals will take place on August 28.