Everything at 21

Djokovic aspires at the US Open to break the Grand Slams record he shares with Nadal and Federer, and to be the sixth player to win all four in a year.

Everything-at-21

The 2021 US Open kicks off this Monday (5pm, Eurosport) with a clear favorite in the men's draw: Novak Djokovic. In the absence of his Big Three rivals, Roger Federer and, above all, Rafa Nadal, the 34-year-old Serbian is in a position to break the men's record for Grand Slam titles that he shares with the Swiss and the Spanish, who like him They add up to 20. And, incidentally, he aspires to be the sixth tennis player, male or female, to win all four in the same year, after Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf.

Djokovic, who will debut on Tuesday (01:00) against the Danish Rune (18 years old and 145th) is going for it, with determination and a confidence that some consider presumptuous. "From 1 to 10 I have an 11 of confidence ... no, sorry, a 21," said Djokovic in his last interview in New York, referring to the number of majors he will accumulate if he is proclaimed champion in 13 days at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. A phrase criticized, among others, by Patrick Moratoglou, coach of Serena Williams and mentor of Stefanos Tsitsipas, one of the main rivals of the number one in the world. "Be very careful with the fine line between trust and overconfidence. Trust is constructive, but excess is destructive," the French technician wrote on Twitter.

The truth is that Djokovic, for whom completing the Grand Slam after having won Roland Garros and Wimbledon in Australia in 2021 would be "the greatest achievement" of his career, has not competed since the fiasco of the Tokyo Games. There. Alexander Zverev, another of those who aspire to embitter the party in the Big Apple, separated him from the final and Pablo Carreño, against whom he was disqualified from the tournament last year, took away the bronze medal.

The Balkan claimed fatigue to skip the Masters 1,000 in Toronto and Cincinnati. So his fitness and tennis are a real unknown in the most unpredictable Slam of the four. In the last 13 years, eight different players have won it. The last, Dominic Thiem, another of the great absentees in this edition, who will not be able to defend the title won in 2020.

That is the burning nail that his enemies are clinging to, including Daniil Mevedev, number two in the ranking and a great threat to Nole's reign. "We are here not to let Djokovic win", said in the media day the Muscovite, finalist in 2019, semifinalist in 2020 and runner-up this year in Melbourne, precisely against the one in Belgrade.

US Open men's team hours.

Muguruza and 10 more Spaniards

In an open female draw, although with a slight favoritism for Ashleigh Barty, the number one and champion at Wimbledon, Garbiñe Muguruza debuts this Monday (5:00 p.m.) against the Croatian Vekic (1-1 in the face to face) . On the first day, another 10 Spaniards will perform: Bautista, Alcaraz, Andújar, Feliciano López against Zapata, Davidovich, Martínez, Taberner, Carla Suárez and Rebeka Masarova.

US Open women's team hours.



Photos from as.com
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