Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Novak Djokovic hailed ahead of US Open title defence – ‘It’s just insane’ | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic’s powers of concentration and focus set him out from the rest of the men’s game, according to ESPN pundit Brad Gilbert.

When the world No 1 begins his US Open campaign next week, he will be looking to successfully defend a title in New York for the first time in his distinguished career.

The top seed is the clear favourite despite losing in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters last week.

After winning at Wimbledon last month, Djokovic has now won five of the past six Grand Slam titles on offer and the challenge of beating him over five sets on a hard court is one of the most difficult in tennis.

And Gilbert says Djokovic’s focus is one of his best attributes.

“He just has a great ability to focus on what’s in front of him,” Gilbert told

“A lot of times that stuff can fuel you, but if you don’t have the ability, it doesn’t matter.

“His ability and when he’s playing at his level, it’s just insane.”

Djokovic’s ability to knuckle down and become an impregnable wall from the baseline is another of his greatest qualities and Gilbert describes it as ‘lockdown mode’.

“He plays just a lot of quality shots, and he doesn’t make unforced errors, and he makes you have to beat him,” Gilbert added.

“He plays cross court so often to big targets, but yet he’s making progress.

“You start to look at him, like, ‘Uh oh, he’s in lockdown mode.’ And if he’s in lockdown mode, see if you can win a set.”

Djokovic will learn his path towards another US Open title on Thursday when the draw is made at 5pm BST.

“I love playing in those conditions there,” said Djokovic.

“I’m going to fight for a title as everyone else does, and I like my chances. I mean, I feel good, and I look forward to it.”

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