At U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic Moves One Step Closer to Grand Slam

by 24USATVSept. 9, 2021, 7 a.m. 20
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The U.S. Open has waited 52 years for a man to have a chance at winning the Grand Slam, so what’s a few extra hours?

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, undefeated in best-of-five matches this year as he pursues the Grand Slam, again lingered in long form play on Wednesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium before rerouting to a romp of the sixth-seeded Matteo Berrettini, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Djokovic’s first set against Berrettini was the third straight time he had lost the opening frame, and also his most taxing set of the tournament. The first game lasted for 14 points; the sixth game needed 20 points. Though Djokovic was broken in the 11th game on a forehand passing shot winner by Berrettini and lost the set soon after, it was Berrettini who needed to leave the court to change out of his sweat-soaked attire just an hour and 17 minutes into the match.

Djokovic’s detours at this tournament have not led to despondency, but discovery.

The first set against Berrettini was the fourth set Djokovic has lost this tournament. As he did each time before, Djokovic took the information he gleaned and reprogrammed his game with increased precision. After hitting 17 unforced errors in the first set, he hit only three in the second and three in the third. Djokovic had five unforced errors in the fourth set.

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