Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are set to miss the US Open but Novak Djokovic's former coach Boris Becker acknowledges it's never easy at a Grand Slam and he underlines the Serb won't have a clear path to winning it all.
"The tournament is open, in a Grand Slam no one has a clear path," Becker told Ubitennis, as quoted on Sportskeeda. "Nole has great experience, but this is a new situation for everyone. Whoever adapts first will be favored.
And who knows, new names could also emerge." Becker admitted that mistakes were made at the Adria Tour but underlined that the Serbian government allowed stands to be full and Djokovic's intentions were good since it was a charity event.
"It must be emphasized that tennis remains a safe sport because there are no contacts between the players," Becker said. "Nothing can really happen. That tournament was for a good cause, Nole just wanted to create a big charity event, but the fact that the Serbian government allowed spectators to fill the stands without protection didn't help.
"The virus threat should have been handled differently globally, and instead, the wrong decision was made. Or, simply, it was hoped that everything would be fine. Unfortunately the forecasts were not correct and, as often happens, in retrospect we can say that we had to be much more careful."
Djokovic contemplated to stay in Europe but eventually decided to play in the US
"I am happy to confirm that I will participate at the Cincinnati and US Open this year,” Djokovic said in an announcement posted on his website.
“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited. "During my career I have played some of my best matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National tennis center.
“I am aware that this time around it will be very different with all the protocols and safety measures that are put in place to protect players and people of NY. "Nevertheless, I have trained hard with my team and got my body in shape so I am ready to adapt to new conditions.
“I’ve done all the check-ups to make sure I am fully recovered and I am ready to get back on court fully committed to playing my best tennis. “I respect and appreciate everyone taking time, effort, and energy to organise these two events for the tennis players to be able to go back to their working field.
“Unfortunately for the players and the game itself, the current situation is not allowing everyone to travel and compete at the same level of risk. “I hope the situation will change soon and we will all be back to doing what we love and do best”.