Djokovic Survives Heat, Fucsovics At US Open, Federer Happy; Murray v Verdasco Wed
by Staff | August 28th, 2018, 11:59 pm

Early in his career, Novak Djokovic was known to struggle in the heat. Then, he got fitter and rarely did he suffer in the steamy conditions. But that wasn’t the case today at the US Open where the Serb was melting in the 97F degree heat against Marton Fucsovics.

After taking the opening set, Djokovic looked to be in control of the 26-year-old from Hungary. No so. Djokovic began to look weary, slow and ragged, and Fucsovics took the second then improbably went up 4-2 in the third. And that’s when Fucsovics fell apart.

Djokovic ran off 10 straight games and enjoyed the benefit of a 10-minute break after the end of the third (thanks to a new rule passed earlier in the day copying the WTA heat policy) to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 in just under three hours.

“It was a tough one,” said Djokovic. “We both struggled. We were not the only ones today. Obviously you had almost 10 retirements in the men’s draw. Brutal conditions. But it is what it is. You have to kind of deal with it. I had to find a way to dig myself out of trouble. It was a set all and I was a break down. I think that was the turning point. At 4-3 in the third when he was serving, I managed to play a good game. I saw that he’s starting to slow down a bit. He started to experience some physical issues. That’s where I felt to use this opportunity and try and get back in the match.

“After that, I hadn’t lost a game till the end of the match. Obviously a 10-minute break was something that was very much appreciated and needed. I’m glad that we had that. I haven’t experienced that before. That was the first time. I think we both needed it.”

Djokovic, who has won 16 of his last 17 matches, will next face Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren on Thursday which is also forecasted to be a very hot day.

Former champion Marin Cilic also was in a bit of peril. The 2014 US Open titlist was serving down 1-5, 15-40 in the first set before he roared back on Marius Copil 7-5, 6-1, 1-1 when the Romanian quit with a left arm issue.

“I was just missing some easy balls, making some unforced errors that are not that usual for me,” Cilic said, referring to his performance early in the match. “Conditions definitely were extremely tough and very humid, very hot.”

Alexander Zverev’s debut with new coach Ivan Lendl was encouraging as the German blew out lucky loser king GOAT Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.

“Our goal is to do the best I can on the court,” said Zverev. “His goal is to prepare myself the best I can. We’re working hard towards that. We’re working hard to being the best player I can be. We’re working hard to one day maybe winning these kind of tournaments. It’s no secret that’s why I took him. That’s the reason.”

In the evening, temperatures were still in the 90s, but it was no trouble for 5-time champion Roger Federer who held off a late charge from Yoshihito Nishioka for a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

“Thankfully I wasn’t too nervous tonight. I felt good. I felt like I had a good preparation week. No hiccups there. I think that settles my nerves there,” said Federer who is 18-0 in the first round at the US Open. “When you do walk out onto Arthur Ashe, you feel like people are there to see the show, enjoy themselves. Sure, they come for the tennis, but it’s also sort of a bucket list, wanting to be there… it’s great to have played also a good first round against an entertaining first-round opponent.”

Federer, who hasn’t won at the US Open since 2008, will now face the wacky Benoit Paire. Speaking of wacky, Federer could also see Nick Kyrgios in the third round.

The Australian stumbled in the second but otherwise had a straightforward win over Radu Albot 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 behind 25 aces and 48 winners.

2014 finalist Kei Nishikori was also a winner along with Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Frances Tiafoe who held on to beat Adrian Mannarino.

On a scorching hot day, all counted six men retired including Mikhail Youzhny who cramped in the fourth set to Marcos Baghdatis. The Russian who twice made the US Open semifinals was playing his final Grand Slam match.

Tomorrow, with temperatures expected to again come close to 100F, Andy Murray will try to win his 14th match in 15 tries against Fernando Verdasco. Three-time champion Rafael Nadal returns under the lights to face Canadian Vasek Pospisil. Former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Stan Wawrinka are also in action along with top Americans John Isner, Jack Sock and Steve Johnson.

Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also on court. The Greek faces New Haven champ Daniil Medvedev in a good matchup.

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49 Comments for Djokovic Survives Heat, Fucsovics At US Open, Federer Happy; Murray v Verdasco Wed

RZ Says:

Woot woot! I’m in 1st place in the bracket after round 1! But it’s very close and likely to change.

RZ Says:

Re: Peter Polansky – apparently he made all the slams this year as a lucky loser. First time someone had hit the calendar lucky loser grand slam.

Humble Rafa Says:

First time someone had hit the calendar lucky loser grand slam.

A good time to remind everyone that I am the youngest to win all 4 slams.

AndyMira Says:

Hehehe….Congrats RZ!!

j-kath Says:

Andy Murray gets a whack on his nose from baby “Edie” who draws blood.

j-kath Says:


j-kath Says:

Can’t get it to highlight. Apologies.

RZ Says:

Thanks AM. But now Tsitsipas is down two sets to none to Medvedev, and I had him going quite far.
Margot, get your beau in order!

j-kath Says:

Taa Margot – was pretty identical….the blood running down the face…..a real bruiser as you said —-that’s why they gave the kid a guy’s name….Edie!!!!!

Fingers crossed that Andy’s face is smiling by the end of this evening. Inshallah.

FedExpress Says:

Stefano hype stopped

Daniel Says:


Almost spill coffe out of my mouth when saw your: Inshallah!! lol
I use it to this day also. There was a famous brazilian soap opera which had roots there and they say all the time, and “mamadi” referring to mother. Was a fever here.

Margot Says:

RZ: dunno if I can, a long road back now, good job I have more than one “beau.”…;)
WATCHING them in this heat is making me feel very ill. Looks like a furnace out there. 5 retirements yesterday I believe. Just rubbish making them play.

Truth Says:

I knew Novak would deny that he changed his mindset to get back on track. He changed coaches because he thought it was a lack of emotional connection with coaches.
He suddenly threw away his tennis and behaved like a sycophantic guru idiot.
Now, he’s trying to stop the embarrassment by saying he &
Marian were misunderstood. That Marian never told him to end the nonsense when training and playing. Marian is no idiot. Novak is just butthurt over the reality of what occurred to his fitness & Slam efforts.

He is saying Marko his brother had no influence over his rebellious, fake happy, ignorant cult behavior?

: It’s untrue that Maroš and Djidji (Phil-Gritsch) demanded that I change my diet. It’s the same 3 years back (mostly plant-based, with addition of fish and eggs). Pepe is still a close person in my life, in my brother’s, my family’s, my wife’s life.

: We were just recently in Marbella, Marian was with Pepe, we had lunch and we were on the courts together. Them two have normal, friendly relationship.

Daniel Says:

Tsitsi takes third set, but a long way to go if he is to make a comeback under this extreme conditions.

j-kath Says:

Daniel: I’m full of surprises….hee ho ahem! My best one: 3-months digging for gold at the site of the 49-ers etc. etc. .
Right now, I wait nervously for Andy to get on to court….the longer delay the better in the hope extreme conditions ameliorate somewhat. Will they?

Margot Says:

Looks as if the court is now in shade so Andy and hot sauce wont be playing under the blazing sun at least,

BBB Says:

Go Andy!

Van Persie Says:

Djoko has evening match tomorrpw. Fed day match. Did I read well?

Go Andy! Hard match today

Daniel Says:

Thiem down 2 sets to 1.

Murray x Nando on. Hope Murray gest throughs for a blockbuster with DelPo.

Wog Boy Says:

Yeah VP, Nike is ruthless;)
That’s what happens when you bite the hand that is feeding you.

Daniel Says:

Murray got broken but borke right back. DelPo up a break already.

Van Persie Says:

Well done, US Open! Europe wants to see Fed. No great chances if he plays only night matches. More of those, please! ;)

WB, hope it was not a “typo” from US Open. Could not believe it :)

Wog Boy Says:

No it’s not, I had a look at their app too.

Van Persie Says:

A nice surprise then

Daniel Says:

Every top player plays at leats 1 round in day time.

Next round I bet Nadal will play day time R3 as there is DelPo x Murray to get prime spot, also DelPo is 4 seed.

Daniel Says:

I just jinxed Murray who got broken and Verdasco will serve 6-5 for 1st set.

Daniel Says:

DelPo cruising for a straight set victory and Thiem double break up in 5th.

RZ Says:

Daniel, stop jinxing Andy!

RZ Says:

Yay Thiem won in 5. Though I had him losing this match in my bracket.

BBB Says:

VP, ESPN ran the stats and said this morning that Djoker and Fed have the same percentage of night matches at the USO. About a third.

j-kath Says:

Whoever is jinxing Andy – STOP!
Alas, despite the past when Andy has busted the naughty Verdasco – it has always been a tough match.

RZ Says:

BBB – interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Daniel Says:

Andy will do it in 5.

Van Persie Says:


Thank you, but tricky to use those stats. Fed started 6 years earlier and both played mant finals or semifinals. Want to know exactly the number of nightmatches as total ( in early rounds if possible)

BBB Says:

They used a percentage – Federer has more matches, so more absolute night matches. They didn’t break it down by round.

Colin Says:

I’m having to listen to the match on BBC radio, so I must rely on the commentators, who are not always very good. However, it’s great that Andy is holding his own with the fourth set in progress. Notably, he is showing plenty of aggression. Yes, apparently he is tiring now, but before the match I think most of us expected Verdasco to win quite easily, so the fact Andy’s still fighting is good. By next year he should be fit enough to do well in the Australian Open

Van Persie Says:

Losing to Verdasco in a comeback would not be a shame. Nando can be very good. It is a good match.


The stats in early rounds, QF included, would interress me. Lazy to check each tournament by myself. They should show this.

Daniel Says:

what a game! Murray brave with that BH

Daniel Says:

Too bad. His target is next year. Get in shape remaining of the year and pain free.

Van Persie Says:

Yeah, still a lot of work for Andy but he looked like he was on the right way.

DelPo- Nando will also be interesting.

ChrisFord1 Says:

Andy is not ready yet, but I agree with his plan to play competitive tennis even if he is unlikely to win or go far – just to work himself back in shape, timing, mental readiness – to be a top contender again.
Try the Asian swing, Masters or ATP 500s. He will not make the Championships cut this year obviously – so he can either take a long break (again) or try some 250 indoors venues or Latin America, India 250s or some nice paying exhibitions. Laver Cup? And the Aussie tournaments lead-in to the Australian Open.

Main thing is for Andy to be patient, have a good attitude not get in a funk.

Congrats to Verdasco, though. Hard fought victory over Andy. Some last glories still are coming as the careers of 3 great Spaniards winds down (Tommy Robredo 36, David Ferrer 36, and Verdasco 34). Each were great to watch in their best years in battles with the Big 4, and each are still capable of some brilliant tennis.

Daniel Says:

Pospisil dare to broke Nadal to lead 4-2 second set and than lost serve 3 straight times.

FedExpress Says:

Pospisil saw the oppurtunity to win a set and then shat into his pants.

How surprising.

kjb Says:

Vasek was gassed after a set and half.

Delpo is looking real good. He’s pounding the backhand like the old days. I really hope we can see a Rafa-Delpo semi.

FedExpress Says:

Delpo will lose like he lost the last 3 GS meetings vs Nadal

USO 2017 semi
FO 2018 semi
Wimbledon 2018 QF

FedExpress Says:

Fognini, Kyrgios, Djokovic

Place at least one of them at his side of the draw.

No. all in Feds quarter.

Rafa gets Thiem/Anderson.

chofer Says:


You’re my favourite whiner here.

Delpo will be fine if he gets to the QF and beats Wawrinka.

Then, I have high hope for him. If he gets to that…

Djokovic still suffering some hiccups. Heat not helping, but he used to be fine in Australia with that. No problem.
He’s only entertained against Fedal these days. Could lose before that. If not, he’s still under those skins. Watch out.

To me, this Open is unpredictable. Just let me wait to the second week. If Wawa plays against he did Grigor, even him has chances.

Margot Says:

Chofer: Saw our lovely Greek’s match and thought ouch, another player camped way behind the baseline, almost in the front row of the crowd. Another Thiem. Well done team Thiem BTW!

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