ATP US Open: Novak Djokovic opens historical quest with a win over Holger Rune

World no. 1 and the 20-time Major champion Novak Djokovic began his quest towards a calendar Grand Slam with a 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 victory over the young Dane Holger Rune. In August, 18-year-old claimed back-to-back Challenger titles to crack the top-150 and passed three qualifying rounds in New York to enter the US Open main draw and face the most formidable rival. Giving his everything, Holger claimed the second set in the tie break before fading from the court due to cramps, his frequent problems at this stage of a career. Novak earned the 22nd consecutive victory at Majors in 2021 with 55 winners and 30 unforced errors, dealing with Rune and the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium and passing the first obstacle en route to tennis glory.

Novak Djokovic defeated Holger Rune in four sets at the US Open.

The Serb blasted 17 aces and faced only three break points, losing serve twice and seizing eight out of 14 break opportunities to sail into the second round and improve his score in the US Open R1 to 16-0! The young gun netted a forehand in the second game to experience an instant break. Djokovic produced four fine holds, scored the second break at 4-1 and held with an ace in the next one for 6-1. Holger broke at love in the second set’s second game with a forehand down the line winner and forged a 3-0 advantage before Novak claimed four straight games and moved in front. World no. 1 hit a double fault in the eighth game to lose the advantage before Rune grabbed the opening four points in the tie break.

The Dane won it 7-5 with a service winner to gain a massive boost ahead of set number three. Starting all over, Djokovic served well in the third set and broke at 15 in game four when Holger hit a forehand long. Rune received a massage on his legs before the eighth game when Djokovic broke him following the youngster’s double fault. Marching towards the finish line, the Serb stood strong behind the initial shot in the fourth set and produced two breaks that carried him over the top. Holger gave serve away in games two and four, and Novak held at love at 5-1 to move over the top in style.