There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of Novak Djokovic winning his 18th Major at the US Open in the absence of his great rivals - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. At the same time, there are also some who are claiming that a victory in Flushing Meadows will count for less given that the draw is weaker than usual.
But for renowned coach Darren Cahill, who is currently working with Simona Halep, there can be no doubt about the legitimacy of this year's American Grand Slam.
In a recent interview with World Wide of Sports, the Australian spoke glowingly about Novak Djokovic’s chances at the US Open. The 54-year-old also rubbished the supposed weakness of this year’s men’s draw, and asserted that ‘history’ would remember the champions regardless of how many top players were missing.
Novak Djokovic got off to a good start this year: Darren Cahill
Novak Djokovic got off to a blistering start in 2020, winning all three tournaments that he participated in - the ATP Cup, the Australian Open and the Dubai Open. Djokovic has a W-L record of 18-0 this year, despite facing the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Darren Cahill believes that Novak Djokovic will pick up where he left off after returning to the tour later this month. The Australian also feels that the World No. 1 will be fully fit for the US Open, despite the extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Novak Djokovic got off to a good start this year and I think he will be in great shape at the US Open," said Darren Cahill.
History will show that the US Open will count: Darren Cahill
Novak Djokovic only recently confirmed his participation at the US Open (as well as Cincinnati), which led many to believe that the Serb is set to have an easy shot at both the titles. With his greatest rivals missing, not many in the men’s draw are expected to stop the World No. 1 from being crowned champion.
Darren Cahill, however, feels differently about this. For him, the men’s draw isn’t as weakened as the women’s section, since only nine out of the top 100 players have pulled out so far. He pointed out that many tournaments in the past witnessed the absence of top players, but went ahead regardless.
“Okay we don’t have Nadal there, but Djokovic is there. And if you cast your mind back to a few years there was a bunch of tournaments in 2016, 2017 where we didn’t have Nadal, no Federer, no Wawrinka, no del Potro, no Raonic, Nishikori, Murray, Cilic; there is a whole bunch of players that were missing big tournaments and the tournaments still went ahead,” Cahill said.
For Cahill, the US Open title will still count despite the lack of a few big names. If Novak Djokovic or his ward Simona Halep were to be crowned champion, their achievement would still be noted in the record books according to the Australian.
“The record will show we will have a men’s champion and a women’s champion and the tournament is going ahead and history will show that it will count towards those records,” Cahill said.