Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat in 2021, writing new history book pages and hoping for more in Tokyo and New York in the upcoming weeks. Novak stood on 17 Major titles at the beginning of the season, wasting his chances at the US Open and Roland Garros last year and fixing that in the opening seven months of 2021.
This year, the Belgrade native conquered all three Majors to match Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 notable titles, setting eyes on tennis glory at the US Open and trying to become the second player in the Open era with a Grand Slam.
Djokovic is the first player since 1969 who won the season's first three Majors and the only one who did that on three different surfaces, standing strong in Melbourne, Paris and London to prove his greatness again and almost secure the GOAT status.
Novak will give his best in Tokyo and New York while chasing the first Golden Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988, feeling confident about his game and motivated to pursue history. Famous coach Darren Cahill sees Rafael Nadal as the one who would try to spoil Djokovic's party at the US Open and steal the season's last Major crown from the Serb.
Darren Cahill backs Rafael Nadal to challenge Novak Djokovic at the US Open.
Rafa suffered the third Roland Garros loss since 2005 to Novak in the semis, and he skipped Wimbledon and the Olympic Games to prepare for the American hard-court swing.
In the last four years, Nadal won two US Open titles, beating Kevin Anderson in 2017 and Daniil Medvedev in that epic final two years ago to stand on four US Open trophies. The Spaniard will embrace packed American swing, starting from Washington, where he plays for the first time.
Last year, Nadal didn't play in New York, while Djokovic got defaulted for the first time in a career against Pablo Carreno Busta after hitting the lineswoman. Rafa and Novak played thrice at the US Open between 2010-2013, and the Spaniard won two of those.
"Nadal will try to stop Djokovic at the US Open; If anyone can do that, it's him. Rafa loves to play in New York; he likes the conditions where the ball bounces high, having a lot of success in New York in the past.
Rafa will play Washington, Canada and Cincinnati to shape his form, and he should challenge Novak in New York," Darren Cahill said.