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.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.