Novak Djokovic opened his 2020 US Open with a solid performance Monday night with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur.
The Serb runs his record to 24-0 on the season having won 27 straight matches since the ATP Finals. He’ll now meet Kyle Edmund on Wednesday.
“He’s one of the quickest players on the Tour. He played some really good shots and it was anybody’s game midway through the second set,” Djokovic said during an on court interview. “I was pleased to close out the second set and then stepped it up a couple of levels.
“I did struggle a bit the semifinals and final back to back, but I had 48 hours. Not so much, but still enough time to recover. I felt good on the court today. The good thing about a Slam is that you only play every two days, so you have at least one day of rest and recovery. I’m going to try to use that as much as I can and gather all my energy and strength for the next one.”
Earlier on Ashe, Alexander Zverev served his was past former finalist Kevin Anderson 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Zverev cracked 18 aces in his sixth straight win over the South African.
”I am actually quite happy with a first round like that,” said Zverev. “Kevin is not someone you usually play in a first round. This is a fourth round, quarterfinal, semifinal match normally against him. I am extremely happy to be through.”
Anderson’s fellow big men also fell. John Isner suffered a fifth straight defeat to countryman Steve Johnson going down in a fifth set tiebreaker. And popular deep pick Reilly Opelka was sent home by David Goffin in four sets 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was sharp in a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 thrashing of Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Tsitsipas never faced a break point.
“I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do out there,” Tsitsipas said. “I was able to get my returns really deep, which gave me a psychological advantage in the match.”
Former TCU standout Cameron Norrie pulled a big upset knocking out No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman in five sets 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5. The Argentine held a match point but then fell apart losing the last three games and squandering several early chances.
“I think it had a lot to do with how he returns. It was tough to get free points out there,” Norrie said. “It’s nice to be part of that and it shows that it was just two dogs out there battling with no serves really. It was a good match.”
A bunch of American wildcards came through as Brandon Nakashima, Mitchell Krueger, Michael Mmoh and Maxime Cressy were winners along with countrymen Jack Sock and Taylor Fritz.
On tap Tuesday, 2-time Andy Murray is back for the first time in two years. Marin Cilic, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic are also in action on the grounds.
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