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"I wouldn't be surprised if Novak Djokovic decided not to play again in the rest of the season" - Ivan Ljubicic

Novak Djokovic after the 2021 US Open final
Novak Djokovic after the 2021 US Open final
ANALYST

Former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic has claimed he wouldn't be surprised to see Novak Djokovic call time on his 2021 season following his defeat in the US Open final. However, Ljubicic admitted he would like to see the Serb in action at the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.

Djokovic's 2021 US Open campaign ended with a straight sets defeat to Daniil Medvedev in the summit clash. The loss put an end to the Serb's pursuit of the Calendar Slam and also raised questions over the remainder of his 2021 season.

While speaking to Serbian media after the final, Djokovic stressed that he had little idea over where and when he would play next.

"Let me tell you - I have no plan, absolutely nothing," Novak Djokovic was quoted as saying by Sportklub. "I don't know if I'm going to play anything, anywhere… I'm just here in New York right now."

There is a growing consensus that Djokovic will skip one of the two Masters 1000 events (Indian Wells and Paris) remaining in the calendar. Given that the World No. 1 is back in Serbia, many fans reckon he is unlikely to head back to the States to take part in the Indian Wells Masters in October.

This leaves the Paris Masters, where Djokovic is a five-time champion, as a more likely option for the Serb to make his return. Given that the 34-year-old will be keen to protect his year-end No. 1 ranking, he will likely take part in the ATP Finals as well.

Against that background, Ivan Ljubicic recently told Il Messaggero that he would like to see Djokovic participate in the Paris Masters as well as the ATP Finals. However, the Croat admitted he would not be surprised if the Serb were to end his season as things stand.

"As for the question of what I expect for the rest of the year, I would like to see Djokovic in Paris-Bercy and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin 2021, but I wouldn't be surprised if he decided not to play again in the rest of the season," Ivan Ljubicic said.
Novak Djokovic is the most celebrated player in the history of the Paris Masters
Novak Djokovic is the most celebrated player in the history of the Paris Masters

Ljubicic, who serves as Roger Federer's coach, also provided an update on the Swiss' condition. The former World No. 3 revealed that Federer is yet to resume training and that there is no timeframe for his return to the sport.

"Federer has not yet resumed training and at the moment there is no specific program for his return," Ljubicic added.

Interesting to see if Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal will win Slams again: Ivan Ljubicic

Novak Djokovic won his 20th Major at Wimbledon this year
Novak Djokovic won his 20th Major at Wimbledon this year

If Novak Djokovic had won the US Open, he would not only have achieved the Calendar Slam but also lifted his 21st Major. That would have taken the Serb past Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and given him sole ownership of the Grand Slam record for the first time in his career.

But Daniil Medvedev spoiled the Serb's party and ensured that the Big 3 remain level on 20 Majors apiece.

Ivan Ljubicic, on his part, reckons it would be "interesting" to see if Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal will be able to add to their respective tallies in future Slams. The Croat believes the Big 3 will continue to be a force to reckon with but, in the same breath, pointed out that the Next Gen has rapidly closed the gap.

"It will be interesting in the next big tournaments if the big three will win titles again or if everyone stopped at the figure of 20," the Croat said. "I think they will continue to be competitive but we will have to see if young players who are already standing out are able to win five sets. (Matteo) Berrettini is in this group. Nor can we forget (Alexander) Zverev, Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Andrey) Rublev..."
Edited by Arvind Sriram
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