Becker: It's strange for Novak Djokovic to play in front of an empty stadium



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Becker: It's strange for Novak Djokovic to play in front of an empty stadium

Six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker says the US Open tournament will not be a cakewalk for World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, even though two of his biggest rivals - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - are not in the draw. Djokovic is a three-time US Open champion and will begin his quest for an 18th Grand Slam singles title next week.

He is currently through to the semi-finals of this week's Western & Southern Open in New York.

Boris Becker says it will be strange for Novak Djokovic to play without fans

According to Eurosport, Becker, a former coach of the Serbian tennis champion says, "He hasn't played well in the last couple of Opens.

His tournament is always the Australian Open, everything else is the icing on the cake. He starts the year wanting to win Melbourne and then whatever comes next is great." The German also added that Djokovic may find it difficult to play in front of an empty stadium.

"He hasn't played as well, it's new for him, it's strange for him to play in front of an empty stadium. He feeds off the energy whether they're for or against him. He likes to play in front of people so I don't think it's an advantage at all."

Meanwhile, one of Djokovic's former rivals, Andy Murray is also in the draw as he looks to continue his comeback from hip surgery. Murray has a wild card into the US Open draw and it will be his first appearance in a major in more than 18 months.

Speaking on the three-time Grand Slam winner, Becker says it's great to see Murray fit and playing well once again. "First and foremost he is as fit as he is going to be coming into a Grand Slam and I think that's good news."

"I think in this moment we have to be patient with Andy and go match by match. When he is fit and healthy he is still a world-class player, but he has to prove it." "He has to take each match as it comes - so do we.

I don't think there is any expectations. It is mainly to finish a match healthy, maybe win it, and then start the next match healthy." The US Open begins in New York on Monday. Novak Djokovic takes on Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur in the first round while Andy Murray meets Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in his first match.