US OPEN 2013
Djokovic Races Through Opener
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
"I was just very happy with the concentration because I didn't play so well in Montreal and Cincinnati in the warmup tournaments for the US Open," he said. "So I had 10 days to really give everything I can on the practice courts. I was very committed and put 100 per cent into my preparations. It's starting to pay off.
"Of course, the first match was as well as it could be. Now I need to continue on working and stay on this course."
Djokovic struck 28 winners to nine unforced errors, and saved seven of eight break points. He dropped serve in the sixth game of the third set, but broke straight back before serving out his 40th match win at Flushing Meadows.
The 26-year-old is looking to reclaim the title he won in 2011 (d. Nadal), after losing to Andy Murray in last year’s final. He has reached the US Open semi-finals the past six years, including runner-up finishes in 2007 (l. to Federer) and ’10 (l. to Nadal).
"This is the last Grand Slam of the year. I have high expectations for myself," he said. "There is no difference in my approach this year than last few years. Knowing that I've done so well in past years, had such a good record, gives me enough reason to have this confident and optimistic approach."
Djokovic will need to reach the semi-finals again to guarantee his hold on the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Should he lose before then and Rafael Nadal wins the title, or should he fall before the quarter-finals and Nadal reaches the final, the Spaniard will be the new World No. 1.
Djokovic will next face German Benjamin Becker, who famously beat Andre Agassi in the legend’s last match, seven years ago at the US Open. Becker closed out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Czech Lukas Rosol over on Court 15, immediately following Djokovic’s victory.
Nicolas Almagro and Juan Monaco both bowed out in their first-round matches. The 15th-seeded Almagro lost to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, while No. 28 seed Monaco trailed German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2, 3-0 before retiring with a stomach ache and headache.
Istomin will meet Tobias Kamke in the second round, after the German closed out Tuesday's action with a 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(7), 6-2 win over American Steve Johnson. Mayer will take on American qualifier Donald Young, who conceded just two games in his opening win against Slovakian Martin Klizan.
In doubles, tenth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo teamed up to defeat Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler 7-6(2), 6-4. Dodig and Melo made a surprise run to the Wimbledon doubles final earlier this year, finishing runner-up to Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.