Before the U.S. Open started, Novak Djokovic’s coach, Marian Vajda, was worried. He saw a challenging draw filled with potential landmines: Mario Ancic and Radek Stepanek—two former Top 10 players—in the first two rounds, Hewitt in the fourth, Moya in the quarters and Nadal in the semis.
“I have to tell you I had really bad feelings,” Vajda said about an hour ago. “But Novak was really focusing and really pumped up and he never said he was worried. If he looked at my eyes, I didn’t want to show him my emotion. I was hiding it inside of me.”
Then the draw started to change. Ancic pulled out, Hewitt and Nadal were both eliminated before he had to play them.
And after today’s straight-sets victory over the relentless Spaniard David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic is on his way to the Finals at the age of 20. The only other 20-year-olds to play in an Open Final: Sampras, Borg, Agassi.
“For me, it’s an accomplishment unbelievable,” said Vajda. “It’s the first final in such a short period of time. Before I took him I had maybe [an] idea of what to do and how far he can go. But not this soon like now. Not that fast.”
“If you have a chance you have to take it and he’s proven he’s one of the best players in the world. He took the chance. Everything that has happened here has been incredible. I give him credit all the way.”