Exclusive – Tim Henman identifies the biggest threat to Novak Djokovic at the US Open

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic celebrating

Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic will need to cope with pressure like never before in his quest to complete the Calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, with the in-form Alexander Zverev in the best position to halt his march towards history.

Former British No 1 Henman is heading to New York to be part of the Amazon Prime Video team cover the final major of the tennis season, with all eyes on Djokovic as he looks to add to the US Open crown to the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles he has already lifted in 2021.

Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic

Zverev ended Djokovic’s hopes of winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games and backed that up with an impressive win in the Cincinnati Masters, with Henman suggesting the German is primed to pose a threat to the world No 1 in New York.

“Zverev’s performance in the semi-final and final were fantastic for different reasons,” Henman told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview.

“To come back from a double break down in the decider and break (Stefanos) Tsitsipas was a fantastic effort and then to come back and play the most incredible match against (Andrey) Rublev in the final.

“Up to 6-2, 5-2, he had made one unforced error from the back of the court in the whole match and was serving huge. It was very impressive.

“There is no doubt that Djokovic is the favourite going into New York, but Zverev, (Daniil) Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Rublev are not just knocking on the door, they are banging on it now.”

Henman has previously expressed his doubts over Zverev’s ability to win on the biggest stage due to his tendency to throw in double faults under pressure, but he is now convinced the tide has turned.

Tim Henman on Amazon Prime Video

“Those gremlins will always be there for Zverev,” added Henman. “There is always going to be some psychological issues when you have served 20 double faults in a single match in your career, but he does seem to be more consistent.

“Up to the final in Cincinnati, he had only served 10 double faults in the whole tournament and when you look at his baseline game and athletic ability, there is no doubt for me that he is going to win multiple Slams in his career.”

The US Open is available to watch on Prime Video from Monday 30th August

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