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.

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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