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Rejuvenated Djokovic eyes US Open as 'Big Four' reunited, Serena upbeat

New York: From the pits of despair in Paris, record-setting Novak Djokovic now eyes a third US Open title in New York where for the first time since Wimbledon last year, the sport's 'Big Four' will be reunited.

Djokovic became the first man to win all nine Masters titles with victory over Roger Federer at Cincinnati on Sunday.

Having captured, against all the odds, a fourth Wimbledon in July, the 31-year-old Serb suddenly finds himself as joint-favourite with world number one Rafael Nadal to triumph at Flushing Meadows.

Champion in 2011 and 2015, and a five-time runner-up, Djokovic sat out the 2017 US Open to nurse an elbow injury. His physical limitations were still evident when he slumped away from Roland Garros in June after a shock quarter-final loss to journeyman Marco Cecchinato, threatening to skip Wimbledon to mend his shattered self-confidence. Fast forward three months and Djokovic is once again the man to beat.

"It's a wonderful feeling. It's been a couple of tough months for me with an injury but then winning Wimbledon and Cincinnati," Djokovic said.

Serena Williams, riding an emotional rollercoaster as she adapts to juggling tennis and motherhood, seeks to end 2018 on a high with a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Meanwhile, world number one Simona Halep withdrew from the WTA Connecticut Open with a leg injury, the day after losing the Cincinnati final to Kiki Bertens. The Romanian, who cited soreness in her right Achilles, said she still plans to take part in the upcoming US Open. "I need to recover

in time for the US Open,"

she said.

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