‘I can challenge Novak Djokovic for US Open title,’ says Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev has backed himself to give Novak Djokovic ‘a challenge’ at the US Open.

The German was the losing finalist last year despite taking a two set lead against eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

Thiem is missing due to injury this year, as are Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but world number one Novak Djokovic is there and hoping to achieve the first calendar slam in men’s tennis for more than 50 years.

Zverev, though, says he believes he can be the man to stop him.

“I hope in two weeks time, I’ll be on an 18-match winning streak,” Zverev said after beating Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.

“That’s what I’m hoping. I think there’s a lot of great players here. Novak is chasing history – to win all four majors this year, first time since Laver.

“But I think the young guys are going to try to get in the way of that.

“And I’m looking forward to maybe giving him a challenge as well. When I’m happy in life, I’m playing well. This is always how it’s been with me.

“I’ve been working obviously extremely hard on a lot of things, on my serve – I’ve been spending hours on that. But when I’m happy in life, I’m playing well.”

On the return of the crowds to Flushing Meadows this year, Zverev added: “It’s great to have all the fans back, because we definitely missed them in the final last year.

“Hopefully I’ll play a few more matches here, and it’s going to be even more entertaining.”

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