Novak Djokovic acknowledges the crowd after the 2021 US Open final
Djokovic was aiming to complete the Calendar Slam at Flushing Meadows this year, but lost to Daniil Medvedev in the summit clash. However, after his defeat to the Russian, the Serb asserted that he felt like the “happiest man alive” due to the enormous support he received throughout the fortnight.
The 20-time Major champion has always craved the kind of support given to his two main rivals — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. But the Serb seldom enjoyed much love in the Slams until this year’s US Open.
The New York crowd treated Djokovic with an enormous amount of respect, egging him on at every moment in the final even as he struggled to find his best tennis against a red-hot Medvedev.
Against that background, Boris Becker revealed on the Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast that the support received by Djokovic would have done wonders for the Serb. The German reckons his former charge is finally receiving the adulation he deserves.
“The incredible ovation he received during the final was very good for him,” Boris Becker said. “That ovation should make it very clear that Novak is on the way to being loved in the final stretch of his career.”
Becker pointed out that people have always admired Djokovic’s tennis but never really connected with the Serb on an emotional level until now.
“Respect for his incredible performances has always been there, but now people attach themselves with him emotionally,” Becker added.
“The US Open became a major emotional problem for Novak Djokovic” – Boris Becker
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev with their respective 2021 US Open trophies
Despite the enormous love and support Novak Djokovic received in the US Open, final, he could not muster up the energy for one final push as he fell agonizingly short of the Calendar Slam.
Ahead of the Major, Djokovic had asserted that completing the Calendar Slam would be the “biggest achievement” of his career. In that context, Boris Becker believes Djokovic is still coming to terms with the huge opportunity slipped through his fingers.
“Novak is still digesting the tremendous opportunity he could not take advantage of in the last US Open,” said the German. “It became a major emotional problem for him, things did not go as expected.”
Becker reckons Djokovic will have a lot more inner peace once he returns to the tour again.
“I hope he plays again soon. I think he will see everything more clearly again once he gets back into dynamics, plays tournaments and wins matches again,” concluded the German.