Former world No. 2 Alex Corretja thought Novak Djokovic made a slow start to his US Open third round clash against Novak Djokovic but put in another gear after losing the first set.
Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, recovered from a set down to beat former world No. 4 Nishikori 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-3 6-2 and reach the US Open round-of-16.
Nishikori, who lost to Djokovic 6-2 6-0 at the Tokyo Olympics, came out to the court determined to put up a much better performance this time.
“I think Novak wasn’t sure about the gear he was playing,” Corretja said on Eurosport.
“I think he was playing too slow at the beginning and then he was recovering very much.
“And then second, third and fourth set he looked better but of course he needs to be careful because when you start playing with fire sometimes you can burn yourself.”
Corretja thinks the Nishikori win will help Djokovic going forward
Djokovic didn’t play any tournaments leading up to the US Open as he decided to take a break following his disappointing ending to the Tokyo Olympics.
Corretja believes that being challenged by Nishikori will help Djokovic in the rest of the tournament.
“For me it was a very important moment against Nishikori because he hasn’t played too many matches during the summer time here in the States so he needed to like struggle a little bit,” Corretja explained.
“First round okay he lost one set but he knew he was going to be right away to win, but he knows that Nishikori can beat you and that’s what I think, for him it was just great to get into the fourth round this way because from now on, everything is going to be totally different, much more dangerous.
“If you didn’t get through tough situations in the whole summer since the Olympics, it would have been too long.
“So I think he is going to be ready and in the second week we will see the best of Novak.”