Novak Djokovic is regarded as the firm favourite to win the US Open this year, despite the fact that he failed to reign in Rogers cup and Cincinnati experts have picked him as the favourite to win the title. Since his triumph in US open in 2011 Djokovic featured in two consecutive finals in 2012 and 2013 and ended up losing both. Djokovic after his semi-final exit last year in US Open looking to change things this time around and fortunately he has been in sublime form in the 2015 season which makes him the heavy contender for the title.
The Serb arrived in the interview room Number One in New York for the usual Media Day on Saturday entering with a Mickey Mouse puppet.
“These are the events you want to perform at your best. Just being here is already a pleasure and I am excited as anyone else to be here.”
Considering how Novak may have a chance to win 3 Grand Slam this year the way he did in 2011, the Serb was asked what has changed in his game and to his person compared to the 2011 version of himself.
“I am a different person and player compared to what I was in 2011. I think physically I am stronger, I am able to endure more than I did back then. There are some slight differences in the game, but as you grow up and mature your game follows. It’s hard to repeat what I have achieved in 2011. I don’t really like to compare myself to the past however.”
Speaking of his preparation to the US Open, Novak seemed quite confident he is on the right path.
“I played a lot of matches coming into New York, something like 14, considering the doubles too. i think I am well prepared for the US Open. Confidence is there, even though I lost two finals against Andy and Roger. But in both occasions they were the best two players on court. I was hoping to peak by this time of the summer and I think I have achieved that”
In Cincinnati, Novak lost to Roger Federer in the final. Speaking of the Swiss, Novak explained what Roger does best and why he knows how to play against his top competitors.
“I am not surprised to see Roger playing so well now. I think maybe now he is playing the best tennis he has ever played. He is fit, aggressive, takes the time away from his opponents, which is what he does best. He comes at the net often, doesn’t give you much rhythm. The conditions in Cincinnati surely helped him to achieve that. I still see him as one of the best players in the World. I always see him as one of the favourites. I think his aggressive game is better, he is using any possible opportunity to come at the net. He makes things happen very fast, whereas myself, Murray and Nadal like to wait a little more and construct the points. Roger knows that and builds his tactics well. I think it is also about his schedule. He has been scheduling himself very well, showing how you should prepare for the major events”
“Roger deserved to win in Cincinnati. Now it is up to me to respond. That is what I always liked about our rivalry, we always push one another.”
The US Open can be very challenging on a physical point of view, but the American Slam isn’t the toughest in terms of conditions according to the Serb.
“There are days in Australia where you wish not to go on court. But each Grand Slam has its physical challenges. In terms of conditions, the toughest remains the Australian Open. There are however no excuses, the conditions are the same for every opponent. The construction looks great on Arthur Ashe, and it helps with the wind as well. There is less swirling and I really can’t wait to see the roof as well”
Finally, the Serb spoke of Rafael Nadal and his chances at the US Open.
“I think Rafael Nadal can still win the US Open this year. Federer had something similar in 2013. Rafa hasn’t played his best, but he has done that before and came back to have his best year in 2013. He puts so much effort and intensity in his game that maybe his body suffers more. He is one of the most hard working guys on the tour. I am sure he is very motivated to win the US Open. You can’t sing Rafael Nadal out”.