Bautista: "I'm happy with how I got to the US Open"

The Castellón signed a tournament in Cincinnati at a high level, where only Djokovic could beat him in an agonizing semifinal.


After the Cincinnati tournament, which was played in the Flushing Meadows bubble, without an audience, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the feeling among players is that there is something "strange" in the environment, but everyone is ready to compete in a different US Open, which will begin tomorrow with an Opening Day in which Novak Djokovic already debuts, in the evening session.

As the first great novelty of the tournament was having to carry out the traditional Press Day with the stars of the ATP and the WTA virtually for the first time in their history. One of the players that grabs the attention is the veteran American Serena Williams, third seed, who will have a chance to win her seventh US Open title and reach the 24th Grand Slam to join the legendary Margaret Court.

"I'm never satisfied. That's been the story of my career. It's like I'm never satisfied until I retire," said Williams, 38, who will play the tournament for the twentieth time. "I think it is a chaotic year. People are understanding and trying new things and the same can happen at this Open."

If Serena is the attraction of women's tennis, despite her poor performance in the Cincinanti tournament, Djokovic, number one in the world, takes center stage on and off the court. Djokovic won the Cincinnati tournament for the second time on Saturday, but he did so amid controversy with the actions of cutting off the rhythm of Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinal match and then saying "I don't know how I won the game."

More controversy has generated taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the absence of the Open of the great champions such as the Spanish Rafael Nadal, current monarch, and the Swiss Roger Federer to promote the formation of a union of players parallel to the ATP. Immediately, Nadal, Federer, the British Andy Murray, along with the Austrian Dominic Thiem, among other greats of the circuit, have completely rejected Djokovic's plan, which he has seen as opportunistic and at least inopportune due to the situation he currently lives in. all over the world.

But Djokovic considers that the project is good and that having an independent players' union can work together with the ATP, although he reiterated that it will be the players who must decide if in the end they want the project to go ahead. While in terms of going undefeated (23-0) this season to the Open, which will be his fifteenth contest, Djokovic, 33, current world number one, said that "running an undefeated streak obviously brings even more confidence in each game. I'm just trying to enjoy it and move on ".

Djokovic, who by winning the Cincinnati tournament for the second time already has 35 Masters 1000 titles, tied with Nadal, said he did not know how long the winning streak will last or what kind of legacy he will leave, because in the end it will not be him who judge. The same one awaited by young tennis promises such as Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will see his dream of playing on the Arthur Ashe court come true, although it is strange to do so without spectators. "It has been a dream of mine forever, to play a night game at Arthur Ashe," admitted Tsitsipas, 22. "I am also convinced that this tournament will leave many surprises." Tsitsipas, who lost in the Cincinnati semi-finals to Milos Raonic, whom Djokovic beat in the final, will face the world's number one if they both make it to the top four.

For Murray, who returns to the Open after two hip surgeries in three years, he believes this year "will be something strange." None of that worries Russian Daniil Medvedev, last year's finalist, who lost to Nadal, and who called a five-set match a "unique" experience. "It was a great match, a great fight, a great level. Against Rafa, who was in his best form. I need to remember this sometimes, just play the same tennis," Medvedev stressed. "I'm really trying to be ready for whatever the US Open can bring me."

One of them would be the one that if he reaches the semifinals he could meet Roberto Bautista Agut, the best option in Spanish tennis in the fight for the title since Nadal is not there and who already eliminated him this week in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati. "It is true that everything is strange without the fans, but the tracks are the same and the outdoor environment of the climate the same, and because of what I did in the Cincinnati tournament I feel happy with how I am going to get to the Open," said Bautista Agut, 32 years old, and eighth seed.

While the young tennis players, the Japanese Naomi Osaka winner of the 2018 Open and the local teenager Coco Gauff, admitted that they want to be more than just players and that they want their voices and "ideals" to be heard throughout the world and consider that they will have no better platform to do so than from the Flushing Meadows bubble and from day one.

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