While Rafael Nadal struggles with injury and Roger Federer fails to recover from an age-induced slump, everybody expects, rightly so, that Novak Djokovic should stroll to US Open glory. However, it hasn't started well.
At the first warm-up event in Toronto, at the Rogers Cup, Djokovic was beaten, scratch that, humiliated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets 6-2 6-2 after needing a final set to overcome Gael Monfils in the previous round.
It's not as if the world no.1 has always struggled with the Frenchman. In fact, apart from one injury related walkover, Djokovic was on an 11-match winning streak, Tsonga hadn't even won a single set in their last seven encounters.
What was different yesterday?
Well, its been a busy month of bliss for the Serbian star. It was this time in July that Djokovic claimed his second Wimbledon crown with a five set classic on Centre Court against Roger Federer. That had followed a heartbreaking French Open, in which that elusive Roland Garros crown evaded his grasp in the face of great rival Nadal.
Then, just a week after winning at SW19, the 27-year-old secured a double joy by finally tying the knot with long-term partner Jelena Ristic in a picturesque ceremony in Montenegro.
Obviously you cannot begrudge the Djokovic of this great phase of his life but there's a possibility that he's lost some on-court focus.
You know that feeling though; that one you get after a holiday - it can be tough to get back into the swing of things, you have paradise on your mind.
The Ristic/Djokovic wedding had already been postponed in the run-up to Wimbledon so that he could concentrate on winning, the right-hander therefore knows his own issues in regaining focus.
Now is his time to wake up and smell the coffee. There's a great chance to grab Grand Slam no.8, after all he's only won once at Flushing Meadows.
Boris Becker, Djokovic's coach, will know his goal is to motivate the world no.1, and thankfully there's enough time before the action begins in New York. At least he didn't cruise through in Canada and Cincinnati before really falling apart later on, something can be done now.
With tennis in the midst of its golden generation, the very best players cannot afford to switch off for a second. The big four of Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray must be ruing their luck, in another era they could all have had even more victories.
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