Novak Djokovic considers Slam of the calendar year at US Open

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NEW YORK – Novak Djokovic missed an overload en route to crash for the only time on Thursday night and watched a man in the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium who made a noise during the point.

After turning back in the next game of his second round victory at the US Open, Djokovic glanced in that direction again, as if to say, “How do you love me now?” Annoyed by the continuing distractions, he then spoke to the chair umpire about what is considered a no-no in tennis.

So that’s pretty much what sparked some intrigue and interest in this one, as the end result – a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win for Djokovic over Tallon Griekspoor – seemed pretty obvious. after about 15 minutes. . Or maybe even before No.1 Djokovic and his 121st-ranked opponent entered the pitch on a cool and windy evening.

“This guy, for some reason, was calling, cranking up and screaming right before I hit my smash, which was a big point. Before that, he would do it several times. After that, again, ”Djokovic said. “It was not pleasant. That’s all. The noise doesn’t bother me. Do not mistake yourself. I think it’s important for entertainment, for crowds, for music. I understand. But if someone does it over and over again… they know why they are doing it. The guy I pointed out, he knew exactly what he was doing, and that’s it.

If it bothered Djokovic, his shot and serve improved his mood as he took one step closer to completing the first Grand Slam of a calendar year in men’s tennis since 1969 and winning a 21st major championship to eclipse the brand he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“Overall very good, very good. I am very satisfied with the level of my tennis, ”said Djokovic. “Everything is going in the right direction. ”

He considered this to be a better performance than in his win on Tuesday, when he dropped a set and was surprised to hear what he thought were boos but actually last name chants of “Ruuuuune!” ” for his 18-year-old nemesis, Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune.

Here’s what matters most: Djokovic is 2-0 at Flushing Meadows this week and 23-0 in Grand Slam tournaments this year, with five more wins between him and history.

“I’m more motivated than ever to do well,” said Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serb who will next face 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori. “I try to be the best I can be every day, and let’s see what happens.”

Djokovic has won his last 16 clashes, including at the Tokyo Olympics in July, although Nishikori’s last head-to-head victory was in New York City seven years ago.

It was only the fourth Slam game for Griekspoor, a 25-year-old Dutchman who tends to appear on the lower-level ATP Challenger Tour. And he never really had much luck against Djokovic, who broke to lead 3-1 and was on the right track.

“There’s a reason he’s probably the best ever. Just, every bullet comes back. You hit a great serve, the ball is back on your feet, ”said Griekspoor. “There’s just not a single shot you can shoot that it’s not that good at. He is everywhere.

Djokovic dominated all statistical categories. He served well, to the tune of 13 aces. He served and flew from time to time. He came back well enough to win half of Griekspoor’s service games. He dominated grassroots exchanges.

Perhaps that is why ESPN’s telecast stopped in the third set.

The only problems encountered earlier Thursday by Ash Barty and other prominent women were delays in attempting to get to Flushing Meadows following the remnants of Hurricane Ida that swept through the northeast one night over. early.

Barty, two-time major champion, including at Wimbledon in July, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and other seeds including 14th Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 17th Maria Sakkari, No 23 Jessica Pegula and No 28 Anett Kontaveit won in straight sets during the afternoon to reach the third round.

On the night, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu improved her tournament record to 9-0 by beating Lauren Davis, 6-4, 6-4.

Among the male winners were Summer Games gold medalist and US Open 2020 finalist Alexander Zverev, Wimbledon 2021 finalist Matteo Berrettini, No.17 Gael Monfils and No.22 seed. Reilly Opelka of the United States but No.10 Hubert Hurkacz, a Wimbledon semi-finalist, lost to Italy’s Andreas Seppi, and No.31 Alexander Bublik was beaten by US recipient Jack Sock, 7-6 (3 ), 6-7 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Another American who got a wild card, Jenson Brooksby, 20, won an all-California game against Taylor Fritz, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10), 7-5, 6-2.

In the absence of a cloud, second-round matches on the outdoor courts have been postponed from 11 a.m. to noon to allow the US Tennis Association to clean up fallen tree branches and other scattered debris and s’ ensure that everything was ready for competition on Day 4 of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Once everything was ready, it was just player transport, traffic delays caused by road closures and abandoned vehicles overnight; a trip from Manhattan to Queens that could normally take 30-45 minutes took an hour and a half or more for some.

“Trying to figure out what was going on here on site was pretty amazing, and I know there was a lot of flash flooding and a lot of people in trouble,” Barty said. “I hope a lot of people at the site have made it home safely and New Yorkers in general have been able to make it home, as it was a pretty savage storm. It has taken its toll. ”


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