US Open 2019: Djokovic prioritising grand slam success in pursuit of record

By Sports Desk August 26, 2019

Novak Djokovic said he is prioritising grand slam success after starting his US Open title defence with victory over Roberto Carballes Baena.

Defending champion and world number one Djokovic eased past Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-4 at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Having survived a dramatic Wimbledon final against Roger Federer for his 16th grand slam, Djokovic is eyeing his fourth US Open crown and third major of the year.

Federer holds the record for most men's slams with 20 and Djokovic – while determined to add to his 33 ATP Masters 1000 trophies – is focused on peaking at major tournaments.

"I mentioned in my last news conference that obviously at this stage of my career and my life, it's mostly about grand slams, really," the 32-year-old Serbian told reporters.

"How can I set my shape and form to be at my best to reach the peak of my tennis performance and my abilities on the grand slam. They matter the most in the history of our sport. And certainly motivate me the most.

"Of course I do value every tournament that I play on, especially the big ATP 1000 Masters events, try my best. These are the events where I want to perform my best.

"Taking that into consideration, it's no different approach than it was in the past 10 years. Very motivated, very focused, very determined to do well. I have been in this particular situation many times in my career, and I know, you know, what feels comfortable for me, what I need to do in order to get far in the tournament.

"Obviously, I have lots of respect for anybody that I play against, and today I played against a player that I never faced before. That doesn't happen too often.

"It was a solid performance. I think I can still play better, but it's kind of expected for the first match and then, you know, I'm hoping that I can build from here."

Djokovic will face Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round of the US Open.

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    "As I've said in the press conference prior to the tournament, I miss playing here," said Djokovic, who has a 14-0 record in 2020 following his ATP Cup and Australian Open triumphs.

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