Eyeing his 21st Grand Slam and becoming only the third man in history to complete a calendar Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic got off to a winning start in the US Open. The ace Serbian picked up an emphatic 6-1, 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-1 win over Danish Holger Rune. Djokovic arrived in New York after wins in the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. He is also tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 Gland Slam and a win in US Open will take him to a record 21 Glam Slams.
“It wasn’t the best of my performances,” Djokovic said. “At the same time, he played well in the second set when it mattered and I didn’t serve well in the second set.”
The world no 1 will now face 121st ranked Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the next match.
The young Danish star, a former top-ranked junior who came into the game after back-to-back titles on the minor-league Challenger Tour and a run through last week’s US Open qualifying tournament, showed a lot of promise. After losing the first set in 26 minutes, he took a 3-0 lead in the second set before Djokovic pushed the match into a tiebreaker, where Rune took a lead of 4-0 and 6-3. From the third set, Rune started experiencing cramps and he couldn’t move much.
“From the third or fourth game in the third set, he couldn’t move much,” Djokovic said. “You could see he struggled a lot. I feel for him.”
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympics winner Alexander Zverev, who defeated Djokovic in the semi-final extended his winning streak to 12 matches after defeating American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. The German said he will try his best to ensure that Djokovic does not grab the US Open title. Both players are likely to set up an enthralling semi-final clash.
“Novak is chasing history,” Zverev said. “But the young guys are going to try and get in the way of that. I’m going to try to give him a challenge as well.”