If on Tuesday night Novak Djokovic dipped a toe in the water on the final leg of his Grand Slam quest, on Thursday he saw the Serbian up to his waist as he comfortably passed Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. The 34-year-old wunderkind isn’t swimming deep, but Djokovic has taken another big step in his quest to run the table in the majors in 2021 with an unflappable performance that left his 25-year-old adversary lost. And, perhaps more importantly, he kept the crowd at bay. “I came out on the court with the right intensity and focus and it was definitely a better performance from my side than a couple nights ago,” Djokovic told the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium after the game. There was a moderate crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Djokovic made sure they stayed that way Thursday night. When a small window opened for Griekspoor, thanks to a shaky service game from the 20-time Major champion midway through the second set, Djokovic quickly closed it by breaking 5-3. The world number one served the set in no time, and dined on a date in his chair as Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” blared over the speakers. Djokovic’s fiercest fight over the course of the contest may have been with a furious boo from the crowd. However, the interlocutor, like Griekspoor, quietly descended as Djokovic methodically moved through the gears to secure his straight-sets victory in one hour and 39 minutes, sealing the win with his 13th aces.
Djokovic has been warm towards his fans
Novak Djokovic said he was not acting like a ‘spoiled brat’ after complaining about a disruptive fan during his second-round win over Tallon Griekspoor at the US Open. “When tennis players talk about that, someone who is watching team sports would say, ‘What a spoiled brat’,” said the world number one. “But it’s a different sport. Look, there’s a lot of noise happening on the stadium, particularly in the night sessions. I don’t mind that. Even sometimes during the point it happens that people out of excitement, they just scream or they release like a sound or whatever, sigh, whatever you call it. And that’s fine. But if someone intentionally does it over and over again, then I have tolerance up to a certain point, then it’s not correct, then it’s not fine. It’s not fair. I feel like it’s not good for us players. I mean, particularly that guy for some reason was calling, raising the sound and kind of screaming just before I would hit my smash, which was a big point. Before that he would do a few times. After that again. That wasn’t nice. That’s all. I don’t mind the noise. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important for the entertainment, for the crowds, the music. I get it. But if someone does it over and over again, particularly when you are at his side, he knows why he’s doing it.”