Laura Robson says it was ‘nice’ to see Novak Djokovic’s meltdown in the Wimbledon final and backs him to beat Carlos Alcaraz to the US Open title.
Djokovic lost to Alcaraz in a thrilling SW19 final last month over five sets in a Grand Slam showdown packed with controversial moments.
The Serbian was booed and cupped his ear as he goaded Wimbledon spectators on Centre Court.
Later in the match, Djokovic smashed up his racket and made a dent in the net post.
‘I was watching that final thinking that it showed he was human,’ Robson told Metro.co.uk.
‘Everyone has this perception of him that he’s the most incredible athlete and the most insane tennis player of all time, which he is, but to let that emotion show was almost nice in a way because we so often see him winning so easily in Slam finals.
‘To see him really tested and so frustrated with how things were going was nice, because you rarely see it from him. I feel like maybe this year (in New York) the crowds may be on his side a little bit more.
‘The US Open crowds love an underdog and they might feel Alcaraz is the favourite over Djokovic and get behind him. Djokovic has a lot of fans but for whatever reason some people do not warm to him as much. But I think he has been great for tennis.’
Djokovic got revenge over Alcaraz in the Cincinnati Open final last week, winning 5-7 7-6 7-6, which left the young Spaniard in tears.
Both men head into the US Open as the favourites in the men’s singles as the final Grand Slam of the year in New York gets underway.
Robson is tipping Djokovic to take Alcaraz’s US Open crown and register his 24th major title.
‘I would go for Djokovic,’ Robson added. ‘Alcaraz was struggling to find his form in Toronto.
‘He was mentally so up for it, but for whatever reason could not find his level on the court. But he has played himself into form as all the top players do. They might not play well one week but the next they start to figure things out.
‘So often, you see Djokovic doing that during a Slam. It’s a long event, two weeks, and there is a lot of tennis to play with best-of-five.
‘My dream final would have Andy Murray in it! If not, I think we would all be happy with a Djokovic vs Alcaraz final. Or even an Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner final.
‘Sinner is coming off the back of a Masters 1000 final win, his match against Alcaraz at the US Open last year was of the best tennis matches of all time in my opinion.
‘Every match they’ve played since, such as the one in Miami, has been equally impressive. Their games match up so nicely against each other. But I think everyone wants to see a rematch of the Wimbledon final.
‘Alcaraz against Djokovic on a hard court. It would be nice to see a bit of a rivalry between those two. They’re going to push each other on.’
The women’s singles look set to be more open and Robson feels there are up to 15 players who could walk away with the trophy at Flushing Meadows.
‘I would definitely put Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Iga Swiatek up there. I’d throw in Jessica Pegula as well. She’s been so strong in the last few weeks and plays so well on a hard court.
‘I’m interested to see how the courts are playing in New York, if they’ve resurfaced them and if they are playing faster or slower than last year with any high bouncing – it makes a difference.
‘On the women’s side you have the front-runners, the Big Three, and then you’ve got some dark horses that can do well. Any of the big hitters can do well in New York and things are more open.
‘You’re waiting to see what sort of upsets there are in the first couple of rounds. I’d like to see Ons Jabeur in the mix.
‘She’s got to be gunning for it after that Wimbledon final and trying to correct the things that went wrong there.
‘There’s maybe in total 10-15 names you might throw in there who could win it.’
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