Why is the US Open Novak Djokovic’s ‘worst of all the Slams’?

Novka Djokovic attends a press conference Credit: Alamy
Novka Djokovic attends a press conference Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic has won 23 Grand Slams yet only three of his titles have come at the US Open. Why is that?

And if you go even further in terms of statistics, Djokovic has reached nine US Open finals and lost six of them, which is in stark contrast to his final appearances at the other three Grand Slams.

The tennis great has played in 10 finals at the Australian Open and he has won all 10 while he has won seven of the nine Wimbledon finals that he has contested. There are mitigating factors for his French Open record of two wins in seven finals as he had to contend with Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

But it is not just Djokovic who has struggled for consistency at Flushing Meadows over the past decade and a bit as no player has won back-to-back US Open titles since Roger Federer won the last of his five in a row in 2008.

Djokovic was asked during his pre-tournament press conference why exactly he as well as other players has struggled to go back-to-back at Flushing Meadows.

“I actually lost more finals here than I won in my career. My score in the finals of US Open is the worst of all Slams I think. There’s some very close finals that I lost; some that I won,” he said.

“But generally I think the consistency of results here has been pretty good. I mean, I’ve played most of my US Open editions at least quarter-finals or better throughout the last 15 years.

“It could be the fact that it’s in the end of the season in a way. End of the Grand Slam season. It’s the last Grand Slam of the year. It’s been eight tough months of tennis for all the players.

“Maybe that’s the reason why you would probably see more surprises in this Grand Slam than maybe some other slams. That’s the only thing that really comes to my mind. Nothing else.”

Djokovic, who will play at the US Open on Monday evening for the first time since losing the 2021 final to Daniil Medvedev, will kick off his campaign against Alexandre Müller and he will be gunning for his third Grand Slam title of 2023 as he also won the Australian Open and French Open while he lost the Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz.

Naturally, he is looking forward to his return.

“I’m very excited that I’ll be able to play the opening night on Monday. Come back in front of probably the loudest fans in sport, tennis fans in sport,” he said.

“I’m just very, very looking forward to that. It’s been two years when I played last here and lost finals to Medvedev in ’21, going for four Slams in a year.

“I haven’t performed well that day in terms of tennis. But what I felt from the crowd, that kind of connection and love and support that they gave me throughout entire match and also in the closing ceremony, was something that I carry still in my heart, and I still feel vibes from that night of the finals two years ago.

“I try to use that for this year’s tournament.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic reveals he was forced to change his US Open plans after Carlos Alcaraz epic

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