World number one Novak Djokovic brushed aside Briton Kyle Edmund 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 6-2 on Wednesday after a sluggish start to remain unbeaten in 2020 and move into the third round of the U.S. Open.
On a hot, humid day at Flushing Meadows, Edmund was left bathed in sweat while a cool and collected Djokovic stayed on course for his 18th Grand Slam title and improved his 2020 match record to 25-0.
It stands as the second best start to a season since the Serb went 41-0 in 2011.
With the two other members of the sport’s Big Three — Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal — absent from the tournament, Djokovic is heavy favourite to hoist the trophy and the Serb overcame a slow start to show why.
“Mentally, Kyle played a fantastic first set, did not do much wrong. It was anybody’s game really for a set and a half. Winning the second set I felt more comfortable.
“Overall, it was a very good test and I am happy to get through,” said Djokovic, who celebrated his victory by moving to the centre of the court and acknowledging the canned applause.
SHAPOVALOV COMES THROUGH
Denis Shapovalov blew hot and cold as he was twice forced to come from behind to beat Kwon Soon-woo 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 6-2 and secure a place in the third round of the U.S. Open for a fourth straight year on Wednesday.
The 12th seed was in all sorts of trouble against the unheralded South Korean at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, losing the first set in a tiebreak and going 4-2 down in the third after leveling up the contest.
The 21-year-old Canadian broke back for 4-3 and called a medical timeout to have some treatment on his hip area before storming to victory by winning 10 of the last 12 games.
Stefanos Tsitsipas weathered a serve-volleying storm from Maxime Cressy before grinding the American wildcard down 7-6(2) 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round of the U.S. Open.
In a slow-burning contest of short, sharp points, fourth seed Tsitsipas had to fight off a set point against the French-born Cressy, who thrashed down 21 aces and chipped-and-charged relentlessly on a muggy night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Impressing in his main draw debut at a Grand Slam, Cressy dragged the Greek deep into the final set but was broken in the ninth game as fatigue set in, allowing Tsitsipas to close out a tough win on serve.
Tsitsipas will next play Croatia’s Borna Coric for a place in the last 16.