On his way in search of being able to make more history, Novak Djokovic, world No. 1 and great favorite, faces a special duel on Saturday, the 20th match against Kei Nishikori. The Serbian leads that duel against the Japanese by 17-2 and the last of those two defeats was suffered precisely at the US Open, seven years ago. Without a doubt, a special obstacle.
This US Open is a contest that can be burned into the history of tennis. It is that Djokovic wants to win it to become the first man in 52 years, since the Australian Rod Laver in 1969, to conquer the four Grand Slam of the same season and, in addition, get the Major No. 21 and thus have the solo record , surpassing the Swiss Roger Federer and the Spanish Rafael Nadal.
The Serbian already said that this inspires him a lot, although he is aware that he must continue step by step. He left behind a single set counting the first two matches and now, on Saturday, he faces Nishikori in the 20th game against each other. Until now, Djokovic dominates the Japanese 17-2 and in the middle there were two occasions in which the Japanese could not appear, in different appointments.
Djokovic lost two of the first three crosses to Nishikori and now has 16 consecutive wins against that rival. The same opponent who beat him, for the last time, right at the US Open, in four sets, in the 2014 semi-final. That year a final between the Serbian and Federer was frustrated, since in the other semi the Swiss yielded to Marin Cilic and finally the Croatian beat the Japanese in the final.
The Serbian beats this new challenge on American soil. “We played many times and I have a good record against him. The last time I lost was here, in New York, in the 2014 semi-final. He is one of the fastest and most talented players I have seen and I think it will be essential to serve well and try. not to give it rhythm, which is something he likes a lot, “he said.
And the Serbian added: “I know his game well, we already met this year in the Olympics and I was able to beat him in Tokyo. I know what awaits me.” For his part, Nishikori gave his impression: “I love this challenge against Novak, the toughest opponent one can face. I preferred to measure myself against a rival with a lower ranking, although I try to stay positive despite knowing that he will be very tough, but I’ll do my best. “
Right away, he recalled that feat against the Serbian at the US Open 2014. “It was one of the best victories of my career. Because of that duel I always have better feelings every time I play here. I know Novak is the best player, but I have good ones. Memories of having beaten him before. Knowing that we are at the US Open, I think I can be a bit positive and optimistic. In order to beat him I must remain calm, patient, with a very high level, and it will be key to be aggressive. to give away anything, I will not have free points, “he explained.