Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, has said that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic may have been distracted from his goal of winning the US Open by working on the Professional Tennis Player's Association.
Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the US Open on Sunday after he accidentally hit a line judge with a ball during his fourth round match against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.
Patrick Mouratoglou says Novak Djokovic had too much on his plate
Mouratoglou, who has also been working with Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitispas, posted a message on Twitter, in which he says, "I feel that Novak had too much on his plate: trying to win this US Open was already a huge goal.
Starting this player’s association and a campaign in order to convince players to be part of it is a full time job & a lot of extra stress. Nobody can afford to lose focus during a GS." Djokovic had been unbeaten in tournament play this year, even though much of the season was suspended due to the global pandemic.
He won the Australian Open in January as well as the Western & Southern Open just prior to the US Open and took a leading role in the launch of the Professional Tennis Player's Association, along with Canada's Vasek Pospisil, just prior to the US Open.
Djokovic had also been the President of the ATP Player Council but resigned from his position just before the launch of the new association, which had become a major talking point in the tennis world during the first few days of the US Open.
Several players such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did not back the new group and released statements backing the ATP Tour. Several tennis experts also criticised the association for not including women at the time of the launch, though it has since been clarified that there is an active dialogue underway with the women.
Novak Djokovic was aiming to win his 18th Grand Slam title in New York - that would have given him the chance to move closer to rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the race for most number of Grand Slam singles titles won in men's tennis.
Nadal currently has 19 Grand Slams while Federer has 20 Grand Slams. Both had skipped the US Open tournament - Nadal due to the concerns around travelling during the health crisis and Federer due to his knee injury.