World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been ruling the tennis world for more than a decade. The Serbian superstar is not only the best player currently, but he is also the front-runner to go down as the greatest ever to play the sport.
The 34-year-old has already won the first three Grand Slams of the year. Now, after much debate and thought, he is in Tokyo to fight for the elusive Gold, which will take him one step closer towards achieving a rare feat-Golden Slam in men’s tennis.
While there are quite a few top-ranked players in the Olympic roster, who can stun the Serb from realizing his dream, America’s Frances Tiafoe has expressed great desire in facing the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
“Novak’s a straight pro,” Tiafoe said told Usa today. “His process every day is crazy. I’m not surprised he’s playing. He’s trying to achieve something extremely crazy this year, and obviously I hope I can be a guy to stop him. I love seeing greatness and if I can stop it, that would be cool. We’ll see. I don’t mind the matchup against him.”
Although Tiafoe is ranked 53 in the world, he is perfectly capable of beating the best players on the tour, like we witnessed at the recently concluded Wimbledon. The American shocked 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round.
Tiafoe a proud Olympian
Talking about the opportunity to represent his nation at the mega event in Tokyo, the 23-year-old said, “It means everything (to be an Olympian). That’s what it’s about. This is another milestone in my career I can check off. I’m forever an Olympian, but I’m looking forward to rubbing elbows with all the great athletes. They’re throwing you in with greatness.”
“It’s a completely different format, it’s a team event, everyone is super nervous. You’re trying to fight for a medal. It’s not like you’re with your whole individual team. It’s different. Everyone is out of their comfort zone and how do you get comfortable being uncomfortable? I feel like for me it’s kind of open and I’m just going to have a good experience and try to play my best,” Tiafoe concluded.