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Djokovic survives Brooksby battle to set up Berrettini clash in US Open quarters

The world No 1 needed four sets to beat 20-year-old Brooksby and is now just three wins away from the calendar-year Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic at the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Novak Djokovic at the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

World No 1 Novak Djokovic remained on course for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title and the calendar-year Grand Slam after survinving a tough battle against American Jenson Brooksby on Monday evening.

Djokovic was severely tested in the first two sets by the 20-year-old Brooksby before the Serb’s physical and mental toughness helped him advance in four sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Brooksby fired up the evening crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium by wining the first set 6-1. The Serb began finding his range in the second set but Brooksby managed to hold his own – even winning an incredible 19-minute game in the second set.

However, Djokovic managed to win the second set 6-3 before winning the third and fourth sets and complete the 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win in just under three hours.

Berrettini sets up QF clash against Djokovic with four-set win over Otte

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini advanced to the quarter-finals after ending the run of German Oscar Otte. The Italian needed two hours and 24 minutes to beat the German qualifier 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and move into the last eight at Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career.

Otte was hampreed by a wrist injury after taking a bad fall at 1-1 in the fourth set but fought valiantly until the end – earning the respect of his opponent and the New York crowds.

At No. 144 in the world, Otte was the lowest-ranked man to reach the second week at the US Open since 179th-ranked Jiri Novak in 2006.

The 25-year-old Berrettini, who reached the semi-final in New York in 2019, has now reached at least the fourth round or better in his past five Grand Slams (fourth round at 2020 US Open and 2021 Australian Open, quarter-final at 2021 French Open, and runner-up at 2021 Wimbledon).

Djokovic leads Berrettini 3-0 in career head-to-head, which includes four-set wins at the French Open (quarter-final) and Wimbledon (final) in 2021.

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