‘Novak Djokovic will be more motivated to win US Open than ever after criticism,’ says former coach
Novak Djokovic will want to win the US Open to shove the criticism he faced over the Adria Tour down people’s throats, says former coach Boris Becker.
Becker helped Djokovic to six of his 17 Grand Slam titles whilst part of his coaching team, and is well-positioned to offer insight into the world number one.
Djokovic was bombarded with criticism after the Adria Tour, which he organised, was hit by a coronavirus outbreak in June.
He was one of several players to test positive for Covid amid a lack of social distancing at the event.
Becker, though, believes that criticism will make Djokovic more dangerous than ever.
“Novak Djokovic has taken a lot of criticism during the lockdown period and, knowing him as I do, he will be even more motivated than ever to win the title,” Becker told the Daily Mail.
“This will, however, be the most unpredictable Slam we have seen in many years and I expect there to be plenty of upsets in the first week.
“I think there will be some lesser names emerging at the business end of the tournament in both singles events, and that will be no bad thing.
“I know we tend to say this before every major now, but hopefully it can be the turning point when younger players emerge.
“One fascinating aspect is how the players react to the absence of crowds and I would see this as a leveller that should help the lower-ranked performers.
“It is going to be very strange, for instance, playing at the giant Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“When you are down on the court it is almost scary how big it is and it is going to feel very weird for anyone to play in a 25,000-seat arena when there is no one in those vast stands.
“The best players are used to feeding off the crowd and drawing energy in a positive way. Conversely, the less experienced can get fearful and if a match gets tight in a deciding set and the noise rises, they can wither.
“It is another reason why there could be some strange results this fortnight.”
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