Novak Djokovic: U.S. Open Victory Will Make American Fans Love Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has been, by far, the best tennis player on the planet in 2011. He has complied a 60-2 record so far this season and has been dominant in three matches at the U.S. Open, but he still takes a back seat to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of mainstream popularity.
That is a shame, too, because if he is able to win the U.S. Open, and there is nothing in his performance thus far to make you believe that he won’t, he will have won three of the four Grand Slam events this season. No one has done that since Federer in 2007.
But despite not being under the microscope like Federer and Nadal are, Djokovic understands what he has done this year and seems to thrive on the pressure.
"I know most people expect top players to get to the late stages of the tournament, so there's extra pressure on us," Djokovic said after his victory over Nikolay Davydenko. "But it's a challenge we're ready to accept. This is what we work all our lives for, to be on this court."
American sports fans appreciate greatness as much as any group in the world, and we are bandwagon fans that will switch our allegiances at the drop of a hat, which is why we need to be paying closer attention to what Djokovic is doing this year.
He has surpassed Federer and Nadal in the world rankings and is having the best season that most of us have ever seen in men’s tennis.
Djokovic may never be able to surpass Federer and Nadal in terms of popularity in this country, but he deserves a lot more admiration from the fans than he has gotten to this point in the season.
His journey is not over until he walks away from Flushing Meadows with a victory. Considering how he has been playing thus far, that seems like a foregone conclusion.
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