Cape Town — SA’s Kevin Anderson has withdrawn from the US Open‚ which starts in New York on Monday‚ due to an ongoing knee injury issue.
Anderson has not played since a third-round Wimbledon exit in July in yet another injury-plagued season for the 33-year-old former US Open finalist.
With only 15 competitive matches to his name this season Anderson’s ranking has dropped to 17 from a high of No 5. He also missed the entire clay court portion of the season due to an elbow injury.
It is disappointing for Anderson who made the 2017 US Open final at Flushing Meadows and also the 2018 Wimbledon final. This time in 2018 he appeared to be on the brink of joining the elite players of the game but 12 months of question marks about his future abound.
While Anderson is struggling‚ men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic has his sights set on breaking Roger Federer’s record of Grand Slam wins as he looks to defend the title he won in 2018.
Djokovic has won 16 Grand Slams and is four behind Federer. But he is five years younger and on any surface other than clay‚ he looks almost unbeatable.
In July he beat Federer in the Wimbledon final‚ winning a classic fifth set tiebreak. Djokovic considers that victory and his 2012 Australian Open win over Rafa Nadal as his two best Grand Slam final performances. He has won four of the past five Slams and is aiming to win the US Open back-to-back for the first time.
“I’m aware of it [the debate around the Grand Slam titles leader board]. I mean‚ I’m part of this world. Of course‚ I can’t completely switch off and eliminate what people are talking about‚” said Djokovic on the eve of the US Open.
“It’s flattering‚ obviously. But at the same time‚ you know‚ it’s still a very long way ahead. It does also put a certain level of responsibility to me as well‚ because I am aiming to do that.
“It’s definitely one of my ambitions and goals. I am 32‚ so things are a little different than they were 10 years ago‚ but I still feel young inside and outside. I am still very motivated to keep going.
“I do still have flashes from the 2012 Australian Open match still that many years after. Of course‚ I would wish to remember the Wimbledon final against Roger this year for many years to come.
“Once I’m done with my career or maybe slowing down the pace with tournaments‚ I guess I’ll have more time to really reflect on everything and look at those matches ... it’s really hard to look back too much‚” said Djokovic.
“Of course‚ you’re looking back and then it awakens certain kind of emotions that are positive and it allows you to awaken that confidence in you‚ the belief and the motivation. It inspires you to again keep going and trying to reach more historic results. But at the same time‚ you have to stay in the present moment.”