09/07/2021 at 6:48 AM CEST
. / Flushing Meadows
Serbian Novak Djokovic, first seed, won this Monday 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2 against American teenager Jenson Brooksby, number 99 in the world, and reached the quarterfinals of the United States Open for the twelfth time, in 16 participations. Djokovic, although he gave up a set again, remained perfect in the fight to complete the cycle of the Grand Slam tournaments with his 25th win and is only three away from achieving it for the first time in the men’s competition since the legendary achieved it. Australian Rod Lave.
The 34-year-old Serbian tennis player needed two hours and 58 minutes of action on center court Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach the quarterfinals, where he will rival the Italian Matteo berrettini, sixth favorite, who also won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and 6-2 against German Oscar Otte, world number 144. The duel between Djokovic and Berrettini will be the fourth and will become the rematch of the last Wimbledon final that the Serbian tennis player won in four sets.
In a grueling showdown under the lights, the top seed overcame a beating in the first set to deny the tenacious Brooksby any more prominence in the night session on matchday eight of the Open. Djokovic extended and undefeated his ATP matchups against the Americans at Flushing Meadows to 11-0 and 21-0 overall.
After being led to four sets by another youngster, Danish Holger Rune, who reached the main draw through the qualifying round, and Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the previous rounds, it was the third time in four matches that he lost the first set and eighth time in 25 Grand Slam this year that he rallied to win. No other man in the Open Era has matched the feat, but again Djokovic showed that he will not have the same consistency when facing an opponent like Berrettini.
The 20-year-old, already the youngest American to reach the fourth round in New York since 20-year-old Andy Roddick in 2002, had his moment of glory by landing the first set in just 29 minutes of action. The achievement earned him raising his arms and receiving a standing ovation from New York fans after getting Djokovic to make 11 unforced errors against just one by Brooksby. But it was only a matter of seconds that Djokovic changed his mindset and immediately Djokovic began his display of games and gestures facing the gallery as he broke for 2-0 in the second set.
The rest of the game was a monologue in Djokovic’s game who allowed himself the luxury of enduring long exchanges of blows, one reached 23, to finally provoke the local fans who gave their full support to the young local tennis player.
As the game passed the one-hour mark, Brooksby brought Arthur Ashe Stadium back to life when he threw a backhand pass down the line to bring up a break point at 1-3, but that was all he could get because then came the left hamstring injury, was not relieved and Brooksby committed his second double fault of the match which proved costly as he delivered his first serve of the fourth set still on the way to deciding in favor of Djokovic. The world number one finished the game with 44 winners and 41 unforced errors, something that he will not be able to repeat against Berrettini if he wants to achieve victory, while he was sure with his serve for nine aces and only one double fault.
In other results of the men’s singles round of 16 matches, the German Alexander Zverev, fourth favorite, He beat the young Italian Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-4 and 7-6 (7), thirteenth seeded, and extended the winning streak that began in Tokyo 2020 to 15 wins in a row, with the Cincinnati Masters 1000 title in his possession. While the South African Lloyd Harris, world number 46, defeated American Reilly Opelka in four sets 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1 and 6-3, twenty-second seeded, and will be Zverev’s rival in the quarterfinals.