World-class tennis players often tend to replicate on-court experiences as much as possible while training. This enables them to get a feel of the match while they prepare for the major tournaments.
Legends like Roger Federer and Serena Williams have got courts - identical to the major ones in the Grand Slams - specially built for their private use. And now we hear that Serbian World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has specially ordered US Open tennis balls to practice with.
Retired Australian tennis star Rennae Stubbs made this revelation in her recent podcast, and also gave her two cents regarding Djokovic and Nadal’s participation at this year's US Open.
It seems Novak Djokovic ‘asked for the balls from US Open’: Rennae Stubbs
The US Open 2020 is more than a month away, and there hasn’t been any confirmation regarding the tournament yet. There is still a great deal of uncertainty around the American Grand Slam due to the COVID-19 outbreak currently ravaging the US.
17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, however, has seemingly diverted all his attention towards preparing for the tournament. He was earlier seen practicing on hardcourts, the surface of choice at Flushing Meadows. Now he has also specially ordered a shipment of US Open balls.
Stubbs revealed this bit on information by saying:
“It seems that Novak Djokovic asked for the balls from the US Open to be delivered to him, so that he could train with them.”
The US Open organizers use balls made by Wilson for their Grand Slam event. These balls are woven with premium grade felt and are ideal for the abrasive hardcourt surfaces of Flushing Meadows.
Novak Djokovic has been away from competitive tennis for a considerable period of time, and as such will be looking to acclimatize to the conditions as much as possible. And Rennae Stubbs feels that Djokovic is keen to add to his Grand Slam tally by participating in the US Open.
“This implies that he will participate in that tournament," Stubbs said. "Of course, that has not been agreed and we will see what will happen in the next few weeks. The good news is that the number of new cases (COVID-19) in New York has been fantastic lately.”
This US Open - should it go ahead - presents a glorious opportunity for Novak Djokovic to reduce the Grand Slam gap between him and all-time leader Roger Federer. The Swiss is out injured for the rest of 2020, and will not have a chance to add to his tally before the 2021 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal, who has two Majors more than Djokovic, seems likely to stick just to the clay-swing this year with Rennae Stubbs re-iterating that point:
“It can be a little worrying when you see Rafa training on clay - that’s not a good sign.”Published 27 Jul 2020, 03:37 IST