New York — Novak Djokovic won in straight sets to advance to the third round at the US Open on Wednesday, battling not only his opponent but 85-degree Fahrenheit weather on the tournament’s hottest day so far.
“So we train a few hours a day in humid, hot conditions so we can be ready for what awaits you on court,” second-seeded Djokovic said after his 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win at Arthur Ashe. Stadium is ranked 76th above Bernabe Zapata Mirales of Spain
“I still have the hunger,” said the 36-year-old from Serbia who owns 23 Grand Slam titles. “I still got it.”
The 32nd seed and rival next to Djokovic Laszlo Djerewhom he defeated in their only previous meeting in Belgrade last year.
“It’s great for Serbian tennis that we have a match up in the third round,” Djokovic said. “He’s definitely one of the top hard workers out there. He spends a lot of hours taking care of his body and trying to build his form. Eventually the results will come for a player like him because he’s very, very dedicated.”
Ending the 4-hour, 4-minute match with a forehand winner that barely held the baseline, the striker raised his hands and flopped onto his back to celebrate his first victory over a top-10 player in his third Grand Slam appearance.
“I’m very happy now,” the 21-year-old striker told the grandstand crowd. “I came out and felt good from the first set. … I just keep playing high-level tennis.”
Coming off the biggest win of his career, Stricker was having a great time — so much so that he sang along to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as it blared over the stadium speakers during a changeup.
Music is often played during breaks between US Open matches, and Houston’s favorite was the 1987 hit when the players sat on the sidelines at 5-2 in the fifth set.
In between sipping an energy drink and nibbling on a snack, the striker bowed his head and bounced his feet as he belted out the lyrics to the beat. He appeared to know everything.
Australian and French Open Grand Slam finalist Tsitsipas is yet to get beyond the third round at Flushing Meadows. The Greek player is the second-highest seed to drop in the men’s team after the no. 4 Holger Rune Lost to 63rd ranked Denmark Roberto Carballes Bena of Spain
For Tsitsipas, who won an ATP 250 title in Los Cabos earlier in August but then went a combined 1-2 at Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati, the loss marked another early US Open exit after falling in the first round last year.
He said, “I wouldn’t blame it on anything. It’s just a poor performance after Los Cabos.” “I consider myself a good player, and I don’t want to be someone who is easily beaten or I give my opponents an easy time on the court against me. I try to do as hard as possible, and if it doesn’t work, it Doesn’t work. I move on with my life.”
Tsitsipas removed his father, Apostoles, from his position as coach earlier this month but said his team was not to blame for the shakeup.
“In no way am I supposed to blame any person or any member of my party,” he told reporters. “Everything on the court is under my control and under my talent, and the way I play the game shows on the court. If I can’t deliver, I’m not going to do well.”
Tsitsipas had a chance to serve for the match while leading 5-3 in the fourth set, but the striker went ahead with a break to force a decider where he strung together an early break to love to lead 3-0. sent him on his way.
“Such a great day for me, such a great win,” said the striker. “It gives me a lot of confidence and I think it’s great to see that from my team. We’re working hard every day and it’s great to do it.”
Elsewhere for men, Dominic ThiemThe 2020 US Open champion, consulted doctors and retired soon after dropping a first-set tiebreaker to the American. Ben Sheltonand the French wild card Benjamin Bonji 28th seed defeated Christopher Eubanks 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7), ending an American’s hopes of a surprise run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.