Heinz Gunthardt, the former coach of tennis legend Steffi Graf and the current captain of the Swiss Fed Cup team, says that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will have a tough road at the US Open in New York even though Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will not be competing at the American Grand Slam.
Djokovic, himself, has said that he will take a final call about travelling to the United States in the coming days due to the current global pandemic.
Heinz Gunthardt on Novak Djokovic's chances at the US Open
In a recent interview to BLICK, Gunthardt says, “The US Open is anything but a free ride for Novak Djokovic.
He also knows what he has to lose and how it can go wrong. It could be the chance for Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev. The status of a Grand Slam event is relative, and the past has shown that too."
Gunthardt says any player will have to work hard to win the US Open even though the draw may be lacking several top players. "In the short term, it may be called into question, but in the long term a lesser meaning hardly sticks in people’s minds.
Because it affects everyone, 2020 will probably be remembered longer as a pandemic year. But whoever wins the US Open will not be questioned later. And one thing is certain: he will have to work hard for it”. The US Open is scheduled to begin in New York at the end of August.
Roger Federer has pulled out due to his knee injury while Rafael Nadal is one of several players who have decided not to travel to the United States due to the current pandemic. Several other players based in Europe may also withdraw in the coming days depending on the quarantine rules when they go back to Europe.
The 61 year old Günthardt won five singles titles and reached his career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 22 in 1986. He also won 30 titles in doubles, including the men's doubles at the 1985 Wimbledon Championships with Balázs Taróczy, and the mixed doubles at the 1985 US Open with Martina Navratilova.
Besides Graf, he also worked with Jelena Dokić, Jennifer Capriati and Ana Ivanovic. He is the current captain of the Swiss Fed Cup team.