Well there it is. Novak Djokovic responded just in time to settle into the round of 16 of the 2021 US Open. After a slow start, where he gave up the first set and was very imprecise, the Serbian tennis player turned a complex match that planted him the Japanese Kei Nishikori. The world number one won in four sets with partials of 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2. It was not easy for “Nole” in his third match of the week, where beyond how well Nishikori played, especially with the backhand, the favorite made multiple mistakes that are not his own. So he gave up the first set and hesitated in the second, but once he was awarded the episode, he chained three in a row to subdue the Japanese “emperor” again. There are already 17 wins in a row for the Serbian against Nishikori, and 18-2 is on the record. On this occasion Djokovic added 15 ‘aces’, seven double faults, 77% effectiveness with the first service and broke his opponent’s serve 7 of the 15 opportunities he generated. In this way, for the 56th time he got into the eighth in the Grand Slams. He is already only four steps away from the title at the US Open, which would leave him as the second player in history and the first since 1969 to win the 4 “big” in the same season. In addition, he would put him as the first to reach the 21 Grand Slams barrier, breaking the tie he has so far with both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. But first, he must beat the winner of the clash between Russian Aslán Karatsev and American Jenson Brooksby in the next round.
Djokovic will be under immense pressure for the next week
Dusan Lajovic recently talked at length about countryman Novak Djokovic, giving his perspective on the asension of the 20-time Major champion to the top of the sport. “It was a long time ago. It is three years’ difference [in age]. I think Novak was 16 years old when I saw him for the first time at a tennis court at Partizan [tennis club],” Lajovic told ATPTour.com. “Everybody was saying, ‘This is one of the guys that will be really good at tennis.’ You could see there was something different with him from the other guys. Playing for what he is playing for at the US Open, the biggest pressure will be on him and not the players playing him,” Lajovic said. Dusan Lajovic then went on to point out that there is not much of a difference in the skill-set, IQ and tenacity of the various top players on tour. “I think talent comes in many forms and when you see these top guys, they are very talented in every particular skill that you need for tennis,” Lajovic said. “They are all moving very well, all very smart on the court, all very determined, big fighters. I think the biggest talent is who can mentally hold longer and right now it looks like Novak is on top of that. It looks like he (Novak Djokovic) can break even more records, and you can’t even see the end,” Lajovic said.