Pre-tournament favorite Novak Djokovic marched into round two of the US Open yesterday as he launched his bid for a 18th Grand Slam with a straight-sets win.
The world number one dispatched unheralded DamirDzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-1, 6-4,6-1 under floodlights at an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The Serbian superstar took just 23 minutes to win the first set before laboring to a narrow victory in an hour-long second set.
With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer absent, Djokovic is looking to close the gap on them in the race for the all-time men’s singles Grand Slam record.
Djokovic currently has 17, behind Nadal on 19 and Federer on 20.
Earlier, fifth seed Alexander Zverev was made to work hard as he progressed into round two of the US Open following a three-hour-long tussle with 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson.
The German, seeking his first Grand Slam title, took the first set on a tie-break 7-6 (7/2) before losing the second 7-5 in an eerily empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Ultimately, the 23-year-old proved too much for the South African veteran, winning the third set 6-3 and the fourth 7-5.
Afterwards, he shared a moment on a big screen with his tennis-playing brother MischaZverev who was beamed into the stadium from his sofa at home.
Fourth seed StefanosTsitsipas eased into the second round of the Flushing Meadows tournament, which is being played without fans due to coronavirus, with a straight-sets win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
The Greek player needed just one hour and 38 minutes to dispose of the world number 41, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.*AFP