Djokovic’s tiebreaker streak ends, but world No 1 recovers to beat Edmund

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Novak Djokovic comes back from a set down -- and the surprising loss of a tiebreaker -- to beat Kyle Edmund at the US Open on Wednesday afternoon.
  • US Open 2020, men’s singles, second round
  • DJOKOVIC (N.1) d. EDMUND 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
  • Key info of the match: Djokovic had one long streak come to an end, but another continued
  • You will also learn: Djokovic struck 16 aces and won 83 percent of his first-serve points
  • Why you should read this story: We take look at Djokovic’s third-round match

Novak Djokovic isn’t just the king of men’s tennis right now. He is also the king of tiebreakers.

The world No 1 had won 10 tiebreakers in a row this season before losing the first set of Wednesday’s US Open second-round match against Kyle Edmund. Much more important, of course, was the overall match — which Djokovic came back to win in four sets.

As such, while on streak ends a more important one continues. He is still undefeated in 2020, now boasting a 25-0 record.

Despite dropping the opening set, there was nothing in particular that Djokovic did wrong. Edmund simply rose to the occasion on the biggest tennis stage in the world and improbably gained an early lead. Unsurprisingly, though, it was a level the unseeded Brit could not sustain. Djokovic was quick to take control of the contest and he had no trouble in any of the last three sets. The 17-time Grand Slam champion did not face a single beak point in either the second or fourth frames of play and he broke Edmund three times in the third.

  • “He’s playing some powerful tennis,” Djokovic said of Edmund. “But he doesn’t move that well for a long time. I knew that eventually physically he’s going to drop his level a bit. That’s when I stepped it up. I held my nerves and stayed consistent. Credit to him for winning the first set; he deserved it. He was playing really well. Wasn’t easy for me; I mean, he was hitting his spots with serve, high percentage of first serves, forehand, backhand….

    “In the second set things started to change a little bit, started to feel more comfortable, started to read his serve better. I thought I was serving better than I did in the first round. There were some ups and downs throughout the match, but it was over three hours, a tough opponent, a tough test. I mean, this is something that can happen obviously, you drop a set. I’m actually glad I did drop a set and got tested the way I did today against Kyle. I expected it to be a tough, tough task. I’m really glad having an early kind of tough match, because it kind of serves me better I think for the rest of the tournament.”

Next up for Djokovic on Friday is No 28 seed Jan-Lennard Struff, who eased past Michael Mmoh in straight sets. The Serb just defeated Struff 6-3, 6-1 at last week’s Cincinnati Masters to take a 4-0 lead in the head-to-head series.

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