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Djokovic says Grand Slams, No. 1 ranking no longer priority

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Novak Djokovic says Grand Slam trophies and the No. 1 ranking are no longer his priorities.

The top-ranked Serb, who has won 12 major titles, said after a light training session in Belgrade on Friday that he felt emotionally drained after winning the French Open in June for his first Grand Slam on clay. He became only the third man to win all four major tournaments in a row, something last done almost 50 years ago.

“I psychologically felt huge pressure, and now I’m no longer thinking about the number of titles. If they come, super, I will accept them,” Djokovic said. “After all, tennis is not the only thing in the world.”

He had a poor midseason, losing early at Wimbledon and the Olympics, and was undone in the U.S. Open final. He has reportedly had physical and personal issues which reflected on his recent results.

Djokovic said he will “sit and talk” with his coach Boris Becker about their future cooperation. The German has helped Djokovic win seven Grand Slam titles.

“I’m happy with the cooperation … he helped me a lot,” Djokovic said.

He withdrew from the China Open next week because of an elbow injury. He said he expects to play at the Shanghai Masters from Oct. 10.

Djokovic said the “micro injury” hampered his serve during the U.S. Open, where he was stopped in the final by Stanislas Wawrinka.

U.S. Open singles champions to earn record $3.7 million

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Total player compensation at the U.S. Open will top $50 million for the first time this year, with a record $3.7 million going to each of the singles champions.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that the total purse for the tournament will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year. The previous winners of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season – Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber – earned $3.5 million.

Runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million.

Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the highest in U.S. Open history. A player who loses in the first round of singles at Queens’ Flushing Meadows will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.

The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 28.

Hingis and Murray win mixed doubles title at Wimbledon

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LONDON — It’s not a good idea to turn down Martina Hingis. Jamie Murray is glad he didn’t.

Hingis and Murray won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title on Sunday, beating Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.

Murray hadn’t played mixed doubles since the 2016 French Open, but when Hingis contacted him before Wimbledon, he couldn’t resist.

“I mean, the (men’s) doubles for me is obviously my biggest goal of the year,” Murray said. “It’s going to take something pretty special to kind of maybe potentially take my eye off the ball with it.”

The duo had both previously won the title playing with different partners, Murray with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Hingis with Leander Paes in 2015.

Hingis, who has won five Grand Slam singles titles, 11 women’s doubles and six mixed doubles, usually gets her way.

“I’m not used to `no,”‘ Hingis said. “No, I don’t take `no’ as an answer pretty much.”

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