New York: World No 1 Novak Djokovic and his female counterpart Serena Williams both eye a piece of history at the US Open that begins here today.
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Not since Australian legend Rod Laver in 1969 has a man completed a calendar year Grand Slam, but top-ranked Novak Djokovic believes he could be the next man to do it.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. Pics/AFP
The 28-year-old Serbian top seed will launch his US Open campaign today against Brazil’s Joao Souza at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, where he will serve as the warm-up act before Serena Williams opens the night session.
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Three-time defending champion Williams is trying to complete the calendar Slam, last accomplished in 1988 by Steffi Graf, and win her 22nd career major title, matching Graf for the Open Era record.
Djokovic is seeking his 10th career Slam title and only one match shy of coming here with the same chance as Williams at a calendar-year Slam sweep. He lost the French Open final to Swiss Stan Wawrinka but has won the Australian and Wimbledon. “I have been close and that gives me enough reason to believe that I can achieve that,” Djokovic said of the calendar-year Slam.
“I’m trying to win every Grand Slam I play. I set myself up for high standards because of the results I’ve had the last couple of years. I’m an ambitious guy and I devote myself completely to the sport.
Meanwhile, Williams said she enjoys the pressure. “I prefer to have this pressure than the pressure of not winning. Not everyone can handle pressure, but I’m OK with it. I would rather be in this position than another one,” said the 33-year-old American, who won this year’s French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon too.