Novak Djokovic ‘might be more susceptible’, but analyst warns not to expect left-field US Open winner
The 2020 US Open will be like no other and Novak Djokovic “might be more susceptible”, but TV analyst Patrick McEnroe insists we are unlikely to see a player “coming out of nowhere and winning the Open”.
There will be no spectators at this year’s US Open as well as the warm-up Western & Southern Open due to the coronavirus pandemic while players will be staying a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the two tournaments at Flushing Meadows.
Some high-profile players will also be absent in New York as defending champion Rafael Nadal as well as former champion Stan Wawrinka and world No 40 Nick Kyrgios pulled out due to the coronavirus pandemic while 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is out injured.
On top of that, the players who will feature are likely to be undercooked as they are coming off a five-month hiatus, leading to some pundits predicting one or two surprise results.
However, tennis analyst and former US Davis Cup captain McEnroe insists it is unlikely that a dark horse will win the 2020 US Open.
“The best players are going to be the best players,” he told ATPTour.com. “The cream will rise to the top.”
He added: “People say, ‘Oh, maybe someone’s going to come through and win the US Open’. Maybe someone who is like [Dominic] Thiem or [Stefanos] Tsitsipas who’s already there. I don’t see someone coming out of nowhere. That just doesn’t happen. I don’t see that happening.
“That’s not saying it’s a lock that Djokovic is going to win. You can certainly make the argument that he might be more susceptible. But I don’t see someone coming out of nowhere and winning the Open.”
McEnroe, though, admits some players might find it difficult to adapt after such a long layoff, especially at the first event back, the Western & Southern Open.
“You have to realise that the other players are in the same boat. It’s one thing when you’ve been out for five months with an injury and you come back and the other players are still match-tough and that’s frustrating for a player,” he said.
“But in this case, you’ve got to try to put your own expectations aside and say, ‘I’ve just got to play well enough to try to beat the guy who is in front of you’.”
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