Roger Federer’s coach claims Novak Djokovic may not play again this year

US Open: Djokovic shows frustration against Medvedev

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Roger Federer’s coach has admitted that he wouldn’t be surprised if Novak Djokovic does not play for the rest of the 2021 season following his failed Calendar Grand Slam bid. The world No 1 has returned home to Serbia after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final – a match that would have won Djokovic a record 21st Major and the Calendar Slam – and is in doubt for the upcoming Masters 1000 in Indian Wells.

Djokovic was a heavy favourite to win the US Open, having already picked up titles at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Victory in Flushing Meadows would have made him the first an in 52 years to win all four Majors in a single season, and would have allowed him to pull ahead of long-time rivals Federer and Nadal in the Grand Slam race.

However, he fell at the final hurdle, looking a shadow of his former self in the championship match as second seed Daniil Medvedev dominated the longer rallies and sent huge serves past the Serb, winning his first-ever Major title with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory.

After losing the final, the world No 1 admitted he had no plans in place for future tournaments after focusing solely on the US Open, and has since returned home to Serbia.

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“To be honest, I don’t have a plan, absolutely nothing,” Djokovic said during his post-finals press conference.

“I don’t know whether I’ll play anything, anywhere. Right now, my mind is only here, in New York.”

It leaves question marks over whether the 34-year-old will travel back to America for the upcoming Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.

The tournament, often dubbed the ‘fifth Grand Slam’, was the first event to be cancelled during the pandemic in 2020 and was postponed from its usual slot in March to October this year.

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Many have also wondered whether the world No 1 will also enter the Masters 1000 in Paris later this year, and travel to Turin for the year-end ATP Finals, which he has already qualified for.

One person who has also been left questioning whether Djokovic will play again this season is former world No 3 and Federer’s current coach Ivan Ljubicic.

The Croat former pro admitted he wanted to see the world No 1 back in action this year, but doubted it would happen.

“As for the question of what I expect for the rest of the year, I would like to see Djokovic in Paris-Bercy and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin 2021, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided not to play again in the rest of the season,” Ljubicic said.

Meanwhile, Djokovic’s long-time rivals Federer and Nadal have already shut down their seasons, both announcing their respective decisions ahead of the US Open.

The Spaniard had played just one event since suffering a shock semi-final defeat to Djokovic at Roland Garros, later revealing he had aggravated an ongoing left foot injury, and last month decided to end his season in order to make a full recovery.

Federer said he would be away from the tour for “many months” after undergoing a third knee surgery in under two years, recently giving a positive update that he was over “the worst” when he arrived in Boston for the Laver Cup as a surprise to watch on from the stands.

Ljubicic also noted that the Swiss star was not back in training yet despite the positive start of his recovery, saying “Federer has not yet resumed training and at the moment there is no specific program for his return.”
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