Tennis: Djokovic thanks fans after breaking record
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Novak Djokovic has opened up on his quest for the Calendar Grand Slam at the US Open. The world No 1 can become the first man since 1969 to win all four Majors in one year with a win in Flushing Meadows, and claim a record 21st Slam – the most for any man in history.
Djokovic is on course to win the Calendar Grand Slam, having already picked up titles at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year.
The achievement would make him the first man in 52 years, since Rod Laver, to win all four in a single season.
All eyes have been on the Serb in Flushing Meadows, with the pressure firmly on his shoulders in the absence of his long-time rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The world No 1 brought himself one step closer to the monumental achievement with a straightforward win over Tallon Griekspoor in the second round on Thursday night (September 2).
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Speaking on the task of winning the Calendar Grand Slam at the US Open this month, Djokovic admitted he thought the biggest challenge would come mentally.
“Probably it’s more mental and emotional, really,” he said, after being asked if the chase was more challenging physically or mentally.
“Physically, I feel great. I can go a couple of hours every day. I don’t mind being on the court for a long time.
“Actually the longer the match goes, I feel I have more chances to win against anybody in best of five.”
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The 20-time Grand Slam champion has impressed in five set matches this year, coming back from 0-2 sets down against 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti during their round of 16 clash at the French Open.
He also faced another tough challenge at Roland Garros when Stefanos Tsitsipas went two-sets-to-love up in the final before Djokovic mounted an impressive comeback to win what was then his 19th Major.
Feeling confident in his ability, the 34-year-old added: “So it’s really more about handling everything that is happening off the court, all the expectations.”
Djokovic also shared his tactic for chasing the Calendar Slam, as he’s trying to focus on one match at a time and not get ahead of himself.
“[It’s] trying to take it moment by moment, really stay in the present moment, and get the most out of it,” he said.
“I’m as motivated as ever to do well. I’m not the only player who wants to go deep in the tournament.
“Hopefully get my hands on the trophy. That’s why I’m here. I’m trying to be the best I can be every single day. Let’s see what happens.”
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