Tennis grand slams: Who is the greatest of all time?
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Novak Djokovic was playing with fire during his match against Kei Nishikori at the US Open on Saturday night, it has been claimed. The Serb fell a set down against his Japanese opponent. But he eventually battled back to make the fourth round of the competition.
Djokovic lost the first set to Nishikori via a tie-break, with the Serb initially struggling to get going.
But the 34-year-old then responded to seal victory, winning three sets in a row to reign supreme.
Djokovic eventually won 6-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to make the fourth round of the competition, boosting his chances of claiming the Calendar Slam in the process.
But Alex Corretja, speaking to Eurosport, believes the 20-time Grand Slam champion was ‘playing with fire’ during the match.
However, while that’s the case, Corretja also thinks Djokovic will get better as the tournament goes on.
“I think Novak wasn’t sure about the gear he was playing,” he said.
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“I think he was playing too slow at the beginning and then he was recovering very much.
“And then second, third and fourth set he looked better but of course he needs to be careful because when you start playing with fire sometimes you can burn yourself.
“For me it was a very important moment against Nishikori because he hasn’t played too many matches during the summer time here in the States so he needed to like struggle a little bit.
“First round okay he lost one set but he knew he was going to be right away to win, but he knows that Nishikori can beat you and that’s what I think, for him it was just great to get into the fourth round this way because from now on, everything is going to be totally different, much more dangerous.
“If you didn’t get through tough situations in the whole summer since the Olympics, it would have been too long.
“So I think he is going to be ready and in the second week we will see the best of Novak.”
Also speaking was Mischa Zverev, who believes Djokovic’s biggest opponent is now himself.
“I don’t know what it feels like but I can imagine that every day you are waking up feeling like there is so much pressure and you just try to do every little thing perfectly right,” Zverev said.
“Because to be able to win this tournament he has to beat not only great guys but he also has to beat his own thoughts and questions.
“It’s a very hard task but if someone can do it, it’s Novak right now.”
Speaking after his victory, meanwhile, Djokovic admitted he wanted to leave a good legacy behind when his career comes to an end.
“I would like people, particularly my peers, the fellow tennis players, both men’s and women’s side, to remember me as someone that first of all left his heart out on the court and has inspired maybe players to get better and to improve and to believe in themselves more,” he said.
“I’m very passionate about children and early childhood education.
“My foundation is really focused on the last 15 years. That’s something I would like to be remembered for, of course.
“Also, someone that really tries to live up to the true values of life: respecting and being grateful, appreciating the moment, appreciating the fact that I’m playing the sport that | truly love and I’m very successful in.
“Not many probably people around the world could say that maybe they are the best in the world in what they love to do.
“I try to not take anything for granted.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to take a step back and observe things from a different perspective once you’re in the, so to say, game.
“You’re touring, you’re traveling nonstop, what’s the next challenge, what’s the next tournament you have to win, what’s the next goal to achieve.
“It’s really hard to comprehend sometimes life from a bird’s eye perspective from me in terms of tennis, because I’m so involved right now on the court and there are so many things I want to achieve still on the court.
“All in all, I would love to leave the legacy first of all that is a good human being, someone that people respect as a person, that has good character, and of course then after a tennis player.
“For me those things are more important than results.”
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