As Frances Tiafoe, Ben Shelton and Taylor Fritz Continue to Carry America’s US Open Dreams, Novak Djokovic Goes Back to a Glorious Era for Understanding a Country’s Sentiment

Published 09/05/2023, 6:18 AM EDT

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In 2003, Andy Roddick joined the elite group of his compatriots and the tennis legends, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connors. After defeating his Spanish rival Juan Carlos Ferrero in the US Open, the former tennis ace marked his first Grand Slam triumph and joined the club of Americans who have also done so.

However, it has now been over two decades since an American tennis player won a major title in the men’s circuit. Emphasizing the ‘Grand Slam drought’ in the US men’s tennis, the ATP legend, Novak Djokovic, recently issued his views on the subject ahead of his encounter with the American World No. 1 player, Taylor Fritz.

Novak Djokovic on major title expectations in the American tennis community


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The current generation in the US, which includes the likes of Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, and Ben Shelton, have enthralled the audience with their on-court prowess and stellar performances. While reaching the top 10 spots of the men’s rankings, Fritz and Tiafoe have clinched various ATP singles titles during their respective journeys. Even at the ongoing US Open, the American trio has made it to the quarterfinal round.

However, anything less than a Grand Slam title is not really acceptable to the country’s fans given the past achievements of the tennis legends like Roddick, Sampras, and Agassi. Even the Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic, understands American fans’ high expectations from the current generation of players. Ahead of his US Open quarterfinal match against Taylor Fritz, the current World No. 2  said, “Of course, when you are used to champions and No. 1s in the world, Grand Slam winners, anything except that is not a success, right?”


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READ MORE- ‘One Punch He’s Out’ – Coco Gauff, Reilly Opelka, and Other American Stars Rile Up Taylor Fritz for a Boxing Showdown Versus Frances Tiafoe

In his press conference, the 36-year-old also asserted that there is always a very “high standard and criteria” for these young American tennis stars to meet. It is because of the high bar set by their compatriots and the former Top 10 players on the ATP Tour, John Isner, after Andy Roddick. Meanwhile, the Serb also discussed how American tennis players will be judged as having “a failed career” if they don’t win a major title.


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Djokovic on the negative side of such high expectations

The American tennis star, John Isner, recently bid adieu to the game after his farewell match at his home Grand Slam event in New York. During his two-decade competitive journey, the 38-year-old clinched 16 ATP titles while he also reached the 8th spot of the ATP rankings.

However, despite such remarkable accolades, Isner will still be judged by the fans as having “a failed career” according to his former Serb colleague. During the honest conversation, Djokovic said, “If (Isner) didn’t win a Slam, people think it’s kind of a failed career, which is something I don’t agree with.”


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What do you think of the Serbian tennis legend’s views on the ‘Grand Slam drought’ in the American men’s circuit? Let us know in the comments section.

WATCH THIS STORY: Serena Williams pays tribute to Roger Federer.


Written by:

Anurag Gusain


One take at a time

Anurag Gusain is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Being a huge tennis fan, he enjoys watching the Spanish legend Rafael Nadal dominate other superstars on the ATP Tour. His coverage of Nadal's 14 French Open titles has been hailed as some of the best in the business, showcasing his talent for storytelling and his ability to capture the essence of the sport.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey