With Novak Djokovic missing out on this year’s US Open he won’t have a chance to level Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles and there won’t be a big showdown between the two all-time tennis greats on the courts in New York
Djokovic’s Wimbledon win against Nick Kyrgios earned him his 21st grand slam going just one behind Nadal’s world record and now he will have to wait until next year for a chance to equal Nadal’s record, assuming the Spaniard is not victorious at the US Open.
With Djokovic undoubtedly being one of the best if not the best player in the world, who holds that status from an all-time angle, the game will certainly be deprived of some competitiveness over the next few weeks as the Open takes place.
In terms of the US Open tennis betting odds, Nadal is one of the favourites offered at 7/2 to win his fifth grand slam in the nation.
Nadal’s main competitor in Djokovic’s absence is Daniil Medvedev, the title-defending Russian is offered at 23/10 in a Paddy Power bet on tennis for the Men’s US Open winner.
While Medvedev provides excellent opposition he simply does not carry the weight and prestige that Djokovic brings and aside from the competition simply losing the quality of the Serbian, there could also be commercial costs to his lack of participation in the US.
There is also an argument to be made that if Nadal was to win in the US Open and extend his record it would be extremely unfair on the Serbian as his win in Wimbledon to move within a single grand slam away from the Spaniard would have been for nothing in terms of working towards matching the record.
Arguably the biggest disappointment of all is purely the fact that Nadal and Djokovic will have the chance to record their 60th head-to-head encounter in the US, with Djokovic leading 30-29 against Nadal, it would have presented an opportunity for Nadal to tie the rivalry or Djokovic to extend his lead.
Nadal is likely more saddened by Djokovic’s absence than most, the Spaniard is a man who embraces competition and would have certainly preferred to face his fierce rival at the event rather than achieve victory aided by his withdrawal.
There is a level of mutual respect between the pair, both are aware that they provide each other’s greatest competition and have done for an extended period as they are very much the standout legends of the modern era of tennis.
Nevertheless, Nadal will be keen to capitalise on the opportunity and ensure he wins the Open, extends his world record and moves further clear of his biggest rival.
Djokovic will be fuelled by his inability to compete at the event and will surely arrive early next year at the US and French Open hoping to produce a clean sweep of the grand slams to make up for his absence in the US – the Serbian is a character that is motivated rather than put down by setbacks.