“More About Handling Everything”: Novak Djokovic on the Mental Challenge Chasing Calendar Slam at US Open 2021

Published 09/03/2021, 12:56 AM EDT
Aug 31, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes his face between points against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune of Denmark (not pictured) on day two of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


World No.1 Novak Djokovic is through to the third round at the US Open 2021. It means that he is now five matches away from his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam and the 2021 Calendar Slam. Recently, he took out the Dutch Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

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After winning this match in 100 minutes, Djokovic reflected on the crowd, the motivation, the challenges, and the time in New York City. Most of all, he admitted that the path to the Calendar Slam is more mental and emotional than physical.

Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands (not pictured) on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Novak Djokovic on his Grand Slam path at US Open 2021

To win a single Grand Slam title is undoubtedly an enormous task for a professional tennis player. Djokovic has already won the first three major tournaments and is now bidding for the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year. The last men’s player to achieve the feat was 1969 when Rod Laver won all four titles for the second time in his career.

Accordingly, only the Serbian has the best understanding of what it takes. And, he explained that it is not a physical rather an emotional journey at the US Open 2021.

“It’s more, probably, mental and emotional really; physically, I feel great,” Djokovic started. “You know, I can go for a couple of hours every day; I don’t mind being on the court for a long time. Actually, the longer the match goes, the better; I have more chances to win against anybody really in best of fives.”

Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after recording match point against Tallon Griekspoor of Netherlands in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, Djokovic explained how he is dealing with all of it. For him, the most important thing is to stay in the moment.

“It’s really more about handling everything that is happening off the court, all the expectations,” he continued. “But as I said, you know, I am trying to take it moment by moment really, stay in the present moment and get the most out of it.”

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Djokovic’s path ahead in US Open

Next up, Djokovic will meet Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the third round. From then on, he could potentially come across Matteo Berrettini, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Daniil Medvedev on his way to the US Open 2021 title.

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Do you think Djokovic will attain the Calendar Slam glory in New York?

Watch this story: The Best Trick Shots at Us Open by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Others

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Purav Joshi

1147 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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