Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Former Slam champion claims ‘we saw Novak Djokovic break’ at US Open


The US Open signals the beginning of the end for Novak Djokovic and company according to this top tour pro of years gone by.

Daniil Medvedev’s maiden Slam triumph came as a shock to many who assumed that Djokovic would fulfil his quest to secure the Calendar Grand Slam in New York.

The apparent vulnerability of the world number one presents an open door for the next generations of men’s talent, believes 16-time doubles Slam champion Todd Woodbridge.

“I’m not suggesting Novak [Djokovic] will fall off a cliff, because he’ll still have the goal of winning a 21st slam,” Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports.

“But I think he would love it if [Nadal] came back to challenge him, because that’s the type of motivation an athlete needs.

“If Nadal and Federer aren’t there, that’s a much tougher assignment for Novak. With sport, things move on really quickly, new stories, new drama is always created. This tournament was a real pivot in the tennis world.

“Things are now going in a completely different direction. I feel that the era of the ‘Big Three’ is over,” the Australian added.

“Novak may still win one or two more majors, but I think there’s a feeling that this younger generation now see themselves as Grand Slam winners.

“We know the intensity, and the discipline, and the ultra-strong façade of Novak, but we saw him break. Whenever you see that in an athlete, you don’t know how they’re going to recover.”

Djokovic has in the past been doubted with regards to his motivation, perhaps most notably following his completion of the Career Grand Slam in 2016 at Roland Garros, marking a 12th Slam title.

He has since gone on to secure eight more Slams, including another Roland Garros title, to match the tallies of Federer and Nadal on 20 Majors each.

Novak Djokovic US Open 2021
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