'Djokovic has much more freedom than many others in NY', says former Dutch player

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'Djokovic has much more freedom than many others in NY', says former Dutch player

After a break of almost six months due to the Coronavirus emergency, the men's circuit is ready to start over from the United States. Despite the strict protocols and the absence of an audience in the stands, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are ready to compete for the title of the US Open, which will start in New York at the end of this month.

For the first time since 1999, we will see a Grand Slam tournament without Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The underdogs are all on the side of the Serbian, intent on winning his 18th Grand Slam and remaining unbeaten in this strange 2020.

Former Dutch tennis player Marcella Mesker, finalist at the Australian Open in doubles, argues that the World number 1 does not he will have major problems regaining concentration given his recognized mental attitude.

Mesker on Novak Djokovic

"During the corona crisis, Novak Djokovic went to his luxury holiday villa in Marbella, where he also has a tennis court, and had Feliciano López, among others, flying over to play tennis," said Marcella Mesker.

"In short: Djokovic trained like crazy there and is very ready to play again. The latter also applies to his competitors," said the former Dutch player. "It will be a real battle in New York between Djokovic and the current generation, with Dominic Thiem as the biggest challenger.

In recent weeks I have seen many beautiful and exciting matches as a commentator, so it will be anyway, you will enjoy it later. I think this bubble will benefit real celebrities like Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. Normally they can't just go into town, because then they will be recognized everywhere.

They are already used to it in that tennis case. In addition, Djokovic, for example, can rent a private villa, which is allowed, and that already gives him much more freedom than many others," asserted Mesker. The 2020 US Open will be the first Grand Slam played in a safety bubble designed to protect players, coaches and staffed from the Coronavirus.

The Flushing Meadows major is the first international sporting event of this scale attempted since the COVID-19 pandemic. The USTA will host the Western & Southern Open, traditionally played in Cincinnati, and the US Open in succession at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with a combined $60 million prize money on the line.

The Western & Southern Open will be contested August 19-28th with the US Open following August 31st-September 13th. Clearly, there’s a lot more than a Grand Slam title and the $3 million US Open champion’s check on the line and USTA CEO Mike Dowse is confident the tournament can tread the tightrope between safety and competition successfully.