Djokovic Flawless, Zverev Wins Delayed Match v Mannarino; Russians Back Sat.
by Staff | September 5th, 2020, 1:16 am
  • 15 Comments

Novak Djokovic turned up the jets Friday night in New York blasting past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 to reach his 12th straight US Open fourth round.

The Serb was in total command of the German who he just whipped a week ago at the relocated Cincinnati event. But today, Djokovic was even better in the comprehensive win.

”It was a very good performance from my side. I managed to read his serve well,” Djokovic said. “I found my way, especially after the first set. The second and third sets were a really great feeling on the court.

“I’ve been playing well the past couple of weeks, training well, focusing on the right things, maintaining that level of performance and hoping for the best. I’m feeling confident about my game and taking that to every match I play.”

The win was Djokovic 600th on hard court and extended his current win streak to 29 and upped his record on the year to 26-0.

Djokovic will now face former US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta who had an easy day against Ricardis Berankis 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Denis Shapovalov won the match of the day over Taylor Fritz. After Fritz took the first, Shapovalov got into gear however up in the third the wheels came off. Fritz began rolling on his serve. He took the third and then served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth.

The Canadian responded with a strong run to finish the match for a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in just under 3-and-a-half hours. Shapovalov then teamed with Rohan Bhopanna to finish off their postponed first round doubles with a win.

The 21-year-old will now meet a rested and in-form David Goffin who reached his fourth straight US Open fourth round beating Filip Krajinovic in straight sets.

Alexander Zverev was to play Adrian Mannarino at 2:30pm, however when the time came, the umpire and the ball people showed up, but the players didn’t. In fact, the players didn’t take Armstrong until 5pm when it was revealed the health department got involved and likely tried to stop Mannarino from taking the court.

A USTA statement read, “The Zverev-Mannarino match was delayed while a collaborative dialogue with health officials was conducted today. Communication with the players was ongoing during the afternoon to keep them updated at all times. Given the sensitivity of the medical issues involved, the USTA is not able to provide further details.”

Earlier in the week, the lefty had reportedly been placed in an enhanced bubble after he had been in contact with Benoit Paire who tested positive for COVID.

When they finally took the court, Zverev dropped the opener before a late second set injury derailed Mannarino and the German took it 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

“I was told there is very little chance that we were going to play,” Zverev said on court. “The New York State called and said he shouldn’t play

“So it was back and forth, back and forth,” he added. “It was political, not about us players.”

Said Mannarino: “I was preparing to go on court at 2.30 p.m. The tour manager came to talk to me and explained the situation that the state department of health took over the city.

“The city allowed me to play but the state took over this decision to say I’ve been exposed to a positive case so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the court.

“They told me they were trying to contact some guys and see if this decision could be changed. Obviously a lot of effort has been done, they pushed the match back. Sascha agreed, which is nice.”

The issue became so big that Djokovic, who was preparing for his night match, got involved.

“I was aware of what was happening and I was actually contacted by his coach during that process. I was communicating with his coach for a few hours and trying to help, speaking to the ATP,” Djokovic said of the situation.

“I was also trying to get to the people that are in the highest positions in New York state, trying to get to the governor of New York because I understood he was the only one who could reverse the decision.”

The end result is Zverev will meet new face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the fourth round.

In the evening, the push-backed Stefanos Tsitsipas-Borna Coric went the distance with the Croat coming out on top in a thriller 6-7 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4). The Greek blew a 5-1 lead in the fourth squandering six match points.

After a 6+ minute delay to go to the locker room, Tsitsipas returned refocused. He got up a break but again failed to keep the lead. Coric kept grinding and it paid off. Coric, who contracted COVID over the summer and went five sets on Wednesday, was the strong and mentally tougher man taking in a breaker in 4 hours, 37 minutes.

Jordan Thompson also made his first Slam fourth round.

Saturday, the Russian trio of Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev return along with Dominic Thiem who meets 2014 champion Marin Cilic.

Young star Felix Auger-Aliassime tries to back up his big win over Andy Murray.


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15 Comments for Djokovic Flawless, Zverev Wins Delayed Match v Mannarino; Russians Back Sat.

Wog Boy Says:

How to lose the match after being 2:1 in sets and 5:1 in in the fourth set?
Ask Tsitsipas.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^
That’s almost as bad as 40:15 … having 2 championship points…and losing it…


mat4 Says:

He was up 5-4, serving at 40-0. I switched off the TV and went to bed… Imagine my surprise when I saw the results.


mat4 Says:

But then, it was the same in the Mladenovic match: serving at 5-1, 15-0, then having 0-40, three match points at 5-4, and losing 7-6 and 6-0 in the third… It is very difficult to focus in these conditions.

Nonetheless, we saw some outstanding quality of tennis so far. A great slam tennis wise.


Django Says:

Omg Tsitsipas
He was a bit crazy during that match. Glad for the Coric win.


chrisford1 Says:

Coric is a real talent who has been stuck in a plateau for a few years, almost but not quite able to hang consistently with Top 10 players. It’s possible that he may become part of the group of younger players that win big titles in the near future.
And on 2019 Wimbledon, Wog Boy – no shame in Federer not getting the win after outplaying Djokovic for most of the match at age 37. It was another time when fans saw how important mental strength is. Federer never had the need for cultivating it for much of his career, his talent was enough. Then came Nadal, who was seemingly born with it. And maybe the most significant thing about what was called “Nole 2.0” in 2011 was how Djokovic LEARNED how to match and a few times exceed even Nadal in mental strength.


mat4 Says:

Coric has serious problems with his technique. Unfortunately, he has not found a good coach so far. He worked with Ricardo Piatti lately, but the problem with Piatti is that he likes marquee student and Coric refused to share his coach with Maria Sharapova, if I remember well.

His technique is, unfortunately, lacking. One can easily recognize the harmful effects of the Serbian/Croatian school of coaching: the over-musculation, the forehand with a stiff arm, a second-rate serve.

He has a lot to work, but he moves well, and he never says die.


Wog Boy Says:

@mat4,
Where have you been man, long time no C U?!
Good to C U again, hope all is well.

Borna is a good bloke, I like him, I am glad he pulled this one off, he is not better than Tsitsi but he was last night better.
Tsitsi is a great player, has all the weapons, has allround game, he will be multiple GS winner, but I just can’t warm to him, it is something that turns me off, particularly since that incident with Medvedev and then bashing the father at ATP cup and mummy had to come down from the stands to give him a talk, mummy’s boy.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,
Agree, it’s not a shame to lose to the best player of this era, that includes Mr 40:15.


mat4 Says:

Hello, Wog Boy!

I forgot my credentials for this site, so I spent my time for writing about tennis on Twitter.

I also think that Borna is a good boy, and he is a better character that ST, although, both are young, and there will be time for both to mature.

Borna has to find a good coach, and fast. Somebody who will improve his serve, first, and who will have a plan of improvements. Look how much Shapovalov has improved since he started working with Mikhail Youzhny.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4, you are not wrong about Shapovalov, he improved hips, I watched him at ATP cup in Sydney, he had Nole on ropes, watching him now at USO, much improved player, every segment of his game including aggressiveness.
Borna is 23, hopefully he’ll realise what he is missing in his game and work on it, I can see he has Czech coach, but looking at the players he coached before he hasn’t don much with them?


mat4 Says:

With a better serve, I don’t see where Tsitsipas has an advantage over Borna, especially now, when a charlatan like Mouratoglou has put his hands on him. M. is a lot of marketing but no real success story (but his) whatsoever.


mat Says:

Štepanek worked with Dodig, who was an excellent server, and later with Berdych. I think he could help Borna, who has to improve that serve, and, long term, develop a better forehand.

In general, the Czech school is very sound, near the level of Australians.


mat4 Says:

I just posted an answer, WB, but I do not see it.

Stepanek is probably a solid coach, but there is a lot of work to do: improve serve and FH mostly, but it is a process.


Wog Boy Says:

Borna should move out of the country and dedicate himself to training with a good coach, as you said.
To many distractions when you live in country where everyone knows you and expect you to lead a social life they believe you have to lead, particularly in the Balkans.
That’s what Nole did at the young age, smartest move he made.
Though Borna’s place of residence is listed as Dubai, it’s only for tax purposes.


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