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Djokovic wins in straight sets to set up US Open third round against five-set specialist Nishikori

Djokovic defeated Dutch opponent Griekspoor as he moved five wins away from a historic Grand Slam sweep

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 was in impressive form as he defeated Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets to reach the third round of the US Open on Thursday evening.

The 34-year-old needed one hour and 40 minutes as he put on a clinical display to beat the 121st ranked Griekspoor 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 and moved five wins away from winning his 21st Grand Slam as well as completing the calendar-year Grand Slam.

The Serb hit 32 winners as compared to just 20 unforced errors while his Dutch opponent hit 20 winners and 28 unforced errors during the second-round contest on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic looked in much better form as compared to his first-round when he needed four sets to beat 18-year-old Holger Rune 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 after the teenager started cramping in the third set. The Serb lost his serve only once on Thrusday while he broke his opponent six times to set up a third-round showdown on Saturday against Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

Even though the win was straightforward, Djokovic did exchange a few words with the chair umpire during the match to complain about being heckled by a fan in the stands.

Nishikori wins another five-setter and aims to end 16-match losing streak to Djokovic

Also on Thursday night session, Japan’s Kei Nishikori needed five sets to beat Amercan Mackenzie McDonald 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3 in just under four hours. The win took Nishikori’s five-set record to 27-7, the best record among active players on the men’s tour.

Nishikori, a former world No 4 who is now ranked 56th in the world, has lost his last 16 matches in a row to Djokovic, including their recent quarter-final showdown at the Tokyo Olympics. The Serb holds a 17-2 lifetime record against Nishikori and the pair have split their two meetings at the US Open so far.

Nishikori won their 2014 semi-final showdown at Flushing Meadows while Djokovic avenged that loss in the 2018 US Open semi-final.

Also advancing in the evening session was seventh seed Denis Shapovalov, who scored a 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Roberto Carballés Baena

FULL SUMMARY OF THURSDAY’S ACTION AT THE US OPEN

  • Seeds winning at the US Open (2nd round): Novak Djokovic (1), Alexander Zverev (4), Matteo Berrettini (6), Denis Shapovalov (7), Jannik Sinner (13), Gael Monfils (17), Aslan Karatsev (21), Reilly Opelka (22)
  • Seeds to lose on day four at the US Open (2nd round): Hubert Hurkacz (10), Alexander Bublik (31)
  • To follow our full coverage of the 2021 US Open, please visit this page.
  • To follow live results, to see the men’s draw and women’s draw, we recommend you follow the official US Open website.
  • Today’s schedule at the US Open is here.
  • All the practical information – how to watch the tournament, how to buy tickets and everything else you could possibly need to know – is hopefully in this page.
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