Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has offered up a blunt reality to the rest of the men’s tour on Novak Djokovic’s dominance ahead of the first Grand Slam since the return from the coronavirus break.
Djokovic remains undefeated in 2020, and has started his preparation for the US Open in flawless fashion as he eased into the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open courtesy of a 6-2, 6-4 win against American Tennys Sandgren.
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The World No.1 is obviously firm favourite without the likes of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in the main draw of the US Open.
Despite Djokovic’s insistence it is ‘disrespectful’ to claim the tournament will be easer without Nadal and Federer, tennis great Navratilova said it’s a certain advantage.
“He would be the favourite anyway, as the No. 1 player in the world, and now with both Rafa and Roger not being there, he would be a big favourite, I would think,” Navratilova told Tennis.com.
“His preparation is so meticulous. He leaves no stone unturned. With the new situation, I’m sure he would have had his team put their heads together and really try to find the best way to prepare under the circumstances.”
No crowd could help Novak Djokovic
Navratilova also pointed out a huge advantage could be a lack of fans.
Djokovic departed the US Open last year with many fans in the stadium showing dissatisfaction towards the World No.1 after he retired injured.
Navratilova said without a crowd potentially going back-and-forth with the 17-time Grand Slam champ, he could thrive.
“He would get into it with the crowd. Now there’s nothing to concern him there so he can concentrate on just playing, not get upset that the crowd’s not on his side. I agree with him, he doesn’t deserve the level of non-support he gets. Anyway, it will be a little bit easier for him to stay focused in a way,” she added.