Djokovic and Osaka draw attention at the US Open | Sports

NEW YORK (AFP) – Novak Djokovic knows his double chase at the US Open – his first Grand Slam in a calendar year in more than half a century and a potential 21st title – means all eyes will be on him when he steps into the field to play.

“I am very inspired and motivated by it, there is no doubt. But at the same time, I know how to balance things mentally, with a lot of expectations, obviously, about my participation here – without the participation of Rafa (Nadal) and Roger (Federer)”. Great, absent, absent, with whom he shares the historic leadership with 20 Grand Slam titles.

“I’m sorry. I know a lot of people will watch my matches and expect me to do well and fight for my slams.”

Naomi Osaka also knows that her return to Grand Slam action for the first time since leaving the French Open to mark her emotional health means she will be in the spotlight when she has a racket in hand as the reigning champion in Flushing. Meadows – And when she has a microphone in front of her.

“You will definitely feel a little different. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I really had to get over the feeling that people looked at me a little differently. At the same time, I started telling myself that things are the way they are. I can’t really change my perception,” Osaka said. people to me.”

The last major tournament of the year kicks off on Monday, with fans waiting in the stands after a year of no fans allowed due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will be a tournament where Federer, Nadal and the Williams sisters are not attending for the first time since 1997, so it wouldn’t be a surprise where the attention will be.

In Djokovic, 34, the Serbian, number one for the title, and in Osaka, 23, of Japan, seeded 3 in the tournament.

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