Novak Djokovic has admitted that he regrets not winning either the US Open or the French Open, having come close to taking both titles.
The world number one was disqualified from the US Open when he accidentally hit a line judge with a tennis ball during his fourth round match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
Despite contracting the coronavirus in July when he organised the Adria Tour in the middle of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Serb bounced back upon the resumption of the sport and played some great tennis. And he knows it.
The closest he came to another grand slam title after his Australian Open triumph is at Roland Garros, where he reached the final, only to be defeated by Rafael Nadal in straight sets.
“There is a lingering regret that I didn’t win either the U.S. Open or the Roland Garros this year,” Djokovic told reporters at his tennis academy in Belgrade.
“I was in outstanding form at both events but having reached the French Open final, I was beaten by a player who was much better on the day. I was below par and that’s it. As far as the US Open is concerned, I got myself into an unfortunate situation and was disqualified, but I won several other big tournaments,” the 17-time grand slam champion said.
“The US Open disqualification notwithstanding, I have only lost one match all season and I’ve played some of the best tennis of my life,” he added.
With Roger Federer pulling out of all events for the remainder of the season due to a knee surgery, Djokovic had the opportunity to close the gap between him and the Swiss champ, who has 20 grand slam wins to his name. Nadal equalled this record with his 13 French Open title earlier this month.
However, he said he doesn’t feel the pressure to overtake either of these legendary players.
“Pressure has been a part of my life for a long time and I’ve learned how to deal with it. It comes with the territory if you are a top-level athlete and it can also galvanise you. You take physical and mental knocks along the way but it’s all part of the learning curve.
He added that if he retired now, he would be a content man.
“If I retired now I’d be happy with everything I have achieved but I still enjoy competing and every tournament I enter gives me so much motivation and joy.”