US OPEN 2013
Djokovic Marches Into US Open Fourth Round
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Novak Djokovic continued his dominant run of form at the 2013 US Open, ousting Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday evening. With the victory, the World No. 1 advanced to his 18th consecutive Grand Slam fourth round, where he will face 43rd-ranked Marcel Granollers.
Djokovic relinquished five games or fewer for the second time this tournament and is now 22-2 in New York since a semi-final finish in 2009. One of five former champions remaining in the draw, he is on a collision course with a resurgent Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals.
Djokovic relishes his opportunities to play under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s the biggest stadium we have in the sport, 23,000 seats. I don’t even see the top. But I can hear you very well," he said in an on-court interview following the match. "New York offers a unique vibe, especially in the night."
The Serb is looking to maintain his grip on the World No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking and win his second major title of the year. He triumphed at the Australian Open (d. Murray) and was also runner-up at Wimbledon (l. to Murray). He has been to the US Open final the past three years, winning the title in 2011 (d. Nadal).
In his press conference, Djokovic discussed the addition of former World No. 10 Wojtek Fibak to his team. "He is a consultant to me and to my coach also. He's a part of our team here for US Open for the first time. We're trying it out and seeing how it goes so far. He's been in tennis for over 30 years, as a player, as a coach, as somebody that has a big knowledge and experience in this sport."
Sousa, meanwhile, was looking to become the first Portuguese man to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam. He entered Sunday's meeting with Djokovic having played consecutive five-setters to open the tournament.
Djokovic won his lone encounter with fourth round opponent Granollers, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the 2011 Australian Open.
The Spaniard advanced to his second Grand Slam Round of 16 after edging the last American in the draw, Tim Smyczek, 6-4, 4-6, 0-6, 6-3, 7-5. It marks the first time no Americans advanced past the third round in US Open history.
Smyczek went up an early break in the fifth set after ripping a backhand cross-court passing shot, but would eventually give the break back at 4-2. "He came up with some amazing shots," he said "I didn't feel like I played a bad game to get broken back, but maybe one or two loose errors. He just came up with some great passes."
Despite striking 73 winners, Smyczek could not overcome 64 unforced errors, including a forehand that sailed long to give Granollers the deciding break in the fifth set. Granollers, who was struggling with his movement earlier in the match, would hold at love to seal the victory.
"I love playing these types of matches," said Granollers in Spanish, referring to the electric atmosphere on Grandstand court. "If you win, it's even better. The fans were supporting him much more but that's normal. I'm just very happy to come away with the win."
Watch Djokovic Interview