Djokovic Books Third Round Berth At US Open

Novak Djokovic (photo: Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

NEW YORK/STARNBERG, September 3, 2021

Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the US Open following a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, a two-time ATP Challenger champion in 2021, on Thursday evening.

The World No. 1 from sent down 13 aces on Arthur Ashe Stadium and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to succeed after one hour and 39 minutes.

“Great performance. Definitely better than the first-round match,” Djokovic said. “Obviously I’m very pleased with the way I came out on the court. I served very well, I found the rhythm on the serve. It was important I came up with the goods.”

Djokovic will next take on Kei Nishikori, who beat US-American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-3 after three hours and 57 minutes. The Serbian leads the Japanese star 17-2 in their head-to-head records.

“Obviously I love the challenge. Now he’s one of the best on the tennis tour. It’s not someone I love to play all the time, because obviously he’s the toughest opponent, one or two,” Nishikori said. “I’d rather have someone ranked lower.

“But I always love the challenge. Even though I have a bad record, I always try to be positive. I’m sure it’s going to be a tough one, but I’ll do my best.”

Earlier in the day, No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany cruised past Albert Ramos Vinolas from Spain 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in only 74 minutes to earn his 40th match win of the season.

“My serve is kind of the key to my game,” Zverev said. “When it’s working I’m playing great. When it’s not, I’m losing matches like I did at Wimbledon… It’s no secret that my serve is probably the most important shot in my game, and I’m happy with how it’s working… The matches are not going to get easier and I will need that to be my weapon.

”I think it was always a problem of mine in the beginning of my career that I always spent a lot of hours, a lot of time in the beginning of Grand Slam tournaments. So it’s nice to have kind of two matches… winning [them] in straight sets.”

Zverev will next play US-American Jack Sock, who edged past No. 31 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Barty advances

In the women’s draw, top seed Ashleigh Barty also booked her spot in the third round. The Australian defeated Clara Tauson from Denmark 6-1, 7-5. No. 16 seed Angelique Kerber from Germany made quick work of Anhelina Kalinina from the Ukraine, winning 6-3, 6-2.

Fourth seed Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic had to go to the distance to overcome Amanda Anisimova from the United States 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(7). No. 6 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada defeated US-American Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-4.