It was yet another easy outing on Arthur Ashe stadium for World No.1 Novak Djokovic, as he blasted past Tallon Griekspoor in the second round. The Serb defeated Griekspoor in straight sets 6-2,6-3,6-2 in the first match of the night session. He is now just 5 wins away from creating history at New York.
If he wins the US Open, he will take the all-time lead and will also become the first man since Rod Laver to complete the calendar slam. And he looks completely able to create history, given his current form. In the second round, he was all over Griekspoor right from the start.
He served flawlessly and gave his opponent no chance to dominate. He himself took charge of the rallies and closed them out with amazing groundstrokes. He soon charged with a double break’s advantage and won the set 6-2.
The second set was no different either with Djokovic carrying the momentum. The Dutch star tried his best to penetrate Djokovic’s defense and even attacked on returns but the Serbian machine was too good for him. Djokovic needed just a single break to wrap up the second set 6-3. And within a blink of eye, the top seed won the third set too 6-2 to advance into the third round.
In the on court interview, Djokovic listed this win above his first round win and said he has now found rhythm on serve and further revealed his strategies. “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. I made him play. I saw him [for the] first time playing in his first-round match a couple days ago with Struff, saw he was serving really well, so I knew that one of the biggest keys was my return, trying to make him play, trying to make him move. He’s not the greatest mover on the court. I tried to give him always a different look. All in all very good, very good. I’m very pleased with the level of my tennis. All is going in the right direction.”
Djokovic to face Nishikori next
Meanwhile, Djokovic will now be up against old foe Kei Nishikori in the third round on Saturday. This will be their 20th meeting and Djokovic leads the H2H 17-2. They recently met at the Tokyo Olympics where the Serb absolutely thrashed Nishikori in straight sets.
Nishikori is wary of the challenge ahead and said he’ll give his best. “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.”