Novak Djokovic has not yet set foot on the pitch after the 2021 US Open final. The world number 1 had a truly exceptional season, but failed to put the icing on the cake. The Serbian phenomenon won the first three Slams of the year and pursued the dream of the Grand Slam.
Should he triumph in New York, the 34-year-old from Belgrade would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four majors in the same season. One step away from the legendary finish line, Nole paid for the tiredness and tension accumulated during the previous months.
The combination of these factors allowed Daniil Medvedev to easily win the final and to forfeit the first Grand Slam of his career. According to his recent statements, Djokovic will return to action in Paris-Bercy, to then play the ATP Finals in Turin and the Davis Cup finals.
Speaking in the latest edition of the German podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball, his former coach Boris Becker made some interesting remarks about Novak. Becker analyzes Djokovic's moment by saying: "Novak Djokovic is still trying to digest the huge opportunity he missed at the US Open.
We must not overlook the emotional aftermath that accompanied that defeat. Things did not go as he would have hoped and it takes him time to get back on his feet psychologically." Becker has clear ideas about Nole's future: "I hope he gets back to playing as soon as possible.
I think he will see everything more calmly once he gets back to his habits, playing tournaments and winning many games again. The incredible ovation he received during the US Open final was a breath of fresh air for him. I think he is well on his way to being loved in the last part of his career.
The respect for his exceptional performances has always been there, but now people are finally putting themselves in his shoes on an emotional level."
Hideki Matsuyama like Tiger Woods!
Hideki Matsuyama emulates Tiger Woods who, in 2019, managed to win these two tournaments: the Masters Tournament also the ZoZo Championship.
In Chiba the Japanese with a total of 265 (64 68 68 65, -15) shots dominated the scene, clearly beating Cameron Tringale and Brendan Steele, both second with 270 (-10). Matsuyama celebrated his seventh career title on the PGA Tour (figure including a Major and two WGCs).
And he did it in his home country, thus managing to avenge the fourth-place mockery (after a 7-player play-off) at the Tokyo Olympics. At the end of a race lived in crescendo, with an eagle and a bogey in the first nine holes and three birdies, a bogey and another eagle (at 18) in the second nine that certified his triumph.
At the age of 29, 7 months and 29 days, he took the win by the widest margin of the tournament (doing better than Woods who in 2019 took the title with a three-stroke advantage over Matsuyama, second). Among the big names, Top 10 for Collin Morikawa, seventh with 275 (-5) alongside seven other players, including the English Tommy Fleetwood and Branden Grace.
Arms to the sky and ovation from the crowd. On the course of the Accordia Golf Narashino Cc (par 70), Matsuyama (who was born in Matsuyama, Ehime prefecture) was greeted by an authentic standing ovation.