Djokovic: 'It is strange, because Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are legends'

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Djokovic: 'It is strange, because Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are legends'

Novak Djokovic leaves for New York as a big favorite for the US Open. Concentrated on tennis most of all, Riccardo Piatti told director Enzo Anderloni exclusively for SuperTennis, the world number 1 has a great goal: to exceed Roger Federer's 20 Grand Slams.

He needs three to reach 20 for the Swiss. He also has four weeks from number 1 to surpass Pete Sampras' 286, chasing the 310 of the all-time record holder of the Open era, again Federer. In New York, for the double appointment of the Western & Southern Open, Masters 1000 moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows, and of the US Open, he is accompanied by Goran Ivanisevic as coach, the physiotherapist Ulises Badio and the manager Edoardo Artaldi.

Instead, Marian Vajda remained in Europe. In the first training sessions, as far as we have seen through social channels, Djokovic is not only focused on tennis. Novak Djokovic says it will be ‘strange’ to play a Grand Slam without Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, describing them as ‘legends who will be missed.’

Djokovic on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

“It is strange, because these two guys are the legends of our sport and with or without crowds, they are going to be missed a lot,” Novak Djokovic explained.

Besting Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is not a motivation he hides, but he is unsure of whether it played a part in his US Open decision. “One of the reasons why I keep on playing professional tennis on this level is because I want to reach more heights in the tennis world.

[But] I cannot say it’s the main reason why I’m here, but it’s one of the reasons. First of all, I have to think about myself and my health and my fitness and whether my team is OK to be here. Once that was checked, then I of course also felt responsible as a top player to be here.

It’s important for our sport to keep going" - the World number 1 explained. Players are tested twice within a 48-hour span of arriving at the player hotel on Long Island. An initial test is required upon arrival. Players are then required to quarantine in their room for a 24-hour period before a second test is given.

After receiving a negative test result, players are given their credential, which is required for transportation and access to the NTC. A second test is required 48 hours after an initial test result is negative. Upon receiving a negative result to the second test, players will be tested every four days thereafter.

Players are not required to take an antibody test though the USTA says it is “highly recommended”. Any player testing positive for COVID-19 will be disqualified from the US Open draw and be quarantined. “If a player during competition were to test positive, under the New York State guidelines, that player would be withdrawn from the tournament, and we would begin isolation/quarantine protocols as outlined by the State of New York,” USTA managing director of communications Chris Widmaier said.