New York, August 30

Off-court distractions and a neck harm couldn’t stop Novak Djokovic from extending his successful run this 12 months to 23 matches and the Serbian couldn’t be in additional intimidating type forward of the US Open. Djokovic clinched his 80th profession title and equalled Rafa Nadal’s file of 35 Masters 1000 wins when he rallied from a set all the way down to beat Milos Raonic within the Western amp; Southern Open closing on Saturday.

New champions

The US Open is assured to have new males’s and girls’s champions as each the defending champions in singles classes — males’s winner Rafael Nadal and girls’s winner Bianca Andreescu — withdrew because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am trying to make the most of my career, trying to use this time when I feel that I am physically, mentally, emotionally, game-wise at (my) peak and playing some of the best tennis that I have ever played,” the world No. 1 mentioned. “Going on an unbeaten run so far this year obviously brings even more confidence each match. I’m just trying to enjoy it and embrace the process. How long that journey is going to last and what kind of legacy I’m going to leave behind, that’s on somebody else to really judge and evaluate.”

In the absence of his rivals for the title of biggest males’s participant of the fashionable period, Djokovic is odds-on favorite to win his fourth crown at Flushing Meadows for an 18th Grand Slam triumph that will put him one behind Nadal and two behind Roger Federer. — Reuters

Today’s main matches

Round 1

  • Women’s singles: Pliskova vs Kalinina; Osaka vs Doi; Gauff vs Sevastova;
  • Men’s singles: Djokovic vs Dzumhur; Anderson vs Zverev; Tsitsipas vs Ramos-Vinolas

Serena in scorching pursuit of No. 24

Serena Williams

Serena Williams declared she is prepared — but once more — to battle it out for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title. The 38-year-old American has been caught on 23 Slams since triumphing on the Australian Open in January 2017. Since then she has come tantalisingly near tying Margaret Court’s singles file, shedding within the Wimbledon and US Open finals in each 2018 and 2019, and is decided not to surrender the chase. “Obviously I’m never satisfied. That’s been the story of my career,” Williams mentioned at Flushing Meadows, the place she claimed her first Grand Slam singles title 21 years in the past. “It’s like I’ll never be satisfied until I retire,” she added. “I’m never going to stop until I retire. It’s just my personality.” Williams’s build-up has been slightly laboured as she has been stretched to 3 units in every of the 5 matches she has contested since motion on the WTA-Tour resumed following the five-month Covid-19 hiatus. She was knocked out within the quarterfinals of the Top Seed Open earlier than struggling a last-16 exit on the Western amp; Southern Open earlier this week. Despite these lengthy tussles, she mentioned was not fatigued “in the sense of match play”. Reuters

US Open trivia

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