Mats Wilander on Novak Djokovic: ‘I won’t be surprised if he wins US Open and then never wins another Slam’
He has made Novak Djokovic the favourite to win the US Open, but Mats Wilanders admits he “I would not be surprised” if the Serbian “never wins another Grand Slam” after getting to 21 majors.
Djokovic is looking to rewrite the tennis history books at Flushing Meadows as a fourth US Open trophy would see him pass Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and claim the outright title for most Grand Slams with 21.
Success in New York will also see him become only the second player in the Open Era after Rod Laver in 1969 to win a Calendar Grand Slam.
Wilander is backing Djokovic to win the title, but he feels once he gets to No 21 he might not win another Slam.
“The chance to win a Calendar Grand Slam will make him even more determined, if that is possible,” he is quoted as saying by Eurosport.
“I would not be surprised if he wins the US Open and then never wins another Grand Slam.
“The 21-thing is a heavy burden, and the Calendar Grand Slam is a pleasure trip for him, the chance to do something that he thought he’d never have the opportunity to do. The chance to do this is why I make him the favourite to win the US Open.”
Djokovic, though, heads to New York on the back of a shock semi-final defeat at the hands of Alexander Zverev at the Tokyo Olympics. He then lost the bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta.
Willander believes his loss against Carreno Busta will give other players hope.
“I think what happened at the Olympics won’t have an effect on Novak Djokovic,” the former world No 1 said.
“But it will affect the other players. And they will be thinking if Carreno Busta can beat Djokovic for a medal, then ‘wow’ – that is huge because Carreno Busta doesn’t have the same weapons as Zverev or Daniil Medvedev. Carreno doesn’t have a big serve, but he can still beat Novak Djokovic.
“Out of the 127 other players in the draw, I think you are now looking at 70-80 players at least who think they have a chance of beating Novak Djokovic – but I don’t think it will make a big difference to him, it’s just a tennis match to him. However, the rest of the players do have an opening against him.”
Australian Open viewing figures need context amid Novak Djokovic snipes
TV viewing figures for this year’s Australian Open may appear to be disappointing, yet the raw figures only reveal part of the story.
Nick Kyrgios on crutches as his manager gives fitness update
Everyone is “really, really pleased” with Nick Kyrgios’ recovery.
Iga Swiatek’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is she competing next and her season so far…
A look at Iga Swiatek’s possible tournaments for the 2023 season.
Carlos Alcaraz’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is he competing next and his season so far…
Carlos Alcaraz’s confirmed and unconfirmed events for the 2023 tennis season.
‘Remarkable’ Novak Djokovic won Australian Open with ‘three-centimetre tear in his hammy’
Australian Open boss gives more detail about Novak Djokovic’s injury.
Novak Djokovic’s ‘game undoubtedly the most complete on the Tour’, says Toni Nadal
“What the Serbian player has achieved is as amazing as it is admirable.”
Alexander Zverev breaks silence after ATP’s ruling on domestic abuse case – ‘Justice has prevailed’
“I am grateful that this is finally resolved,” says Alexander Zverev.
Heather Watson reaping the benefits of hard work at last
The 30-year-old says the paradise location of Hua Hin is helping her find her best tennis.
Andy Murray weighs in on disappointing Australian Open TV numbers
Andy Murray pointed to the rise in streaming and the opening of new markets as big positives for the game.