Novak Djokovic has signalled his intention to play the US Open, which will send warning bells to Rafael Nadal and the NextGen, after a bold request ahead of the Grand Slam.
While Djokovic practised on clay during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, he has been filmed recently on hard courts - after recovering from the coronavirus - with many tennis fans assuming it’s in preparation for the US Open.
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Nadal has moved the other way and has been filmed practising on clay, signalling his intention to skip the US Open and focus on Roland Garros. While Roger Federer will skip the US Open due to injury.
Djokovic initially had reservations on travelling to the US with just one team member, but the entourage has now been upgraded to three.
Novak Djokovic is back at practice in Serbia today— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) July 17, 2020
(Video: boris bosnakovic / Instagram) pic.twitter.com/84vceDSelb
But in a major move, which all but confirms his intention to go for his 18th Grand Slam, Djokovic has ordered US Open balls to be sent to his residence.
Former player, turned commentator, Rennae. Stubbs was speaking on her podcast The Racquet Magazine and revealed the request from the World No.1.
“Novak apparently has ordered some tennis balls from the US Open. Indicating I would imagine he is coming,” she said.
“We will see what happens over the next couple of weeks. New York is doing fantastically well.”
‘Not a good sign’: Stubbs on Nadal
Stubbs did express her disappointment that it appears Nadal won’t be making the trip, while the US is hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nadal doesn’t appear the only one in doubt with Aussies Nick Kyrgios and World No.1 Ash Barty also expressing concern.
“It is a little bit of worry when you see that Rafa is practicing on clay. So that is not a good sign,” she added.
“But Serena obviously said she is coming, Bianca Andreescu will be coming, former champion Osaka will be coming.”