“Truly an Inspiration for Me”: Novak Djokovic Pays Tribute to Wheelchair Tennis Players at US Open 2020

Published 09/06/2020, 1:26 PM EDT

World No.1 Novak Djokovic stormed into the fourth round of the US Open 2020 after a straight-sets victory over Jan-Lennard Struff. Djokovic is scheduled to face Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta later today.

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Recently, the 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic took to Instagram, where he uploaded a picture with Gustavo Fernandez, a wheelchair tennis player. Fernandez is a former World No.1 in singles and has won 5 Grand Slams titles- 2016 French Open, 2017 Australian Open, the 2019 Australian Open, the 2019 French Open, and the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

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Djokovic wrote a heartfelt caption about deriving inspiration from wheelchair tennis players. The No.1 seed expressed how fascinating it is to witness players executing shots despite having one hand on the wheel.

“Gustavo and I talked tennis today. Wheelchair tennis players are truly an inspiration for me. It’s amazing how they manage to execute the shots while constantly having one hand on the wheel.” 

The 3-time US Open winner Novak spoke about receiving insights into Gustavo’s herculean efforts on the court and expressed his admiration for the Argentine. Djokovic added that he had tried to play wheelchair tennis and found it really tough.

“I have tried several times to play wheelchair tennis, and it’s super hard. Big admiration and respect to Gustavo and all the wheelchair tennis players,” wrote Djokovic, paying respect to the wheelchair tennis players.

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The USTA had suspended the wheelchair competition at this year’s US Open back in June. But after an outcry from top players, the association reinstated the wheelchair competition.

Novak Djokovic appreciates US Open efforts

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The Serbian applauded the US Open officials for providing an opportunity to the wheelchair tennis players to compete, despite the prevailing circumstances. On the other hand, Djokovic has been vocal about the ambiguity surrounding the tournament protocols and the lack of communication from the ATP.

Gustavo, a finalist at the 2014 US Open, is eyeing his first title at Flushing Meadows to complete his Career Grand Slam.

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Kshitij Tayal

518 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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