Former US Open Champion, Novak Djokovi had to work harder for his win that saw him qualify for the next round after he had dropped a set.
It was anything but smooth sailing for Novak on his return to Flushing Meadow, battling past the elements and an on-song Marton Fucsovics to progress to the second round of the US Open.
The 31-year-old, who arrived on the back of a Masters 1000 victory over Roger Federer at Cincinnati, had not lost a set in the first round of a major since 2011.
Having won the first set 6-3, the former world no.1 began to struggle early on in the second set from heat exhaustion, eventually calling for a medical timeout when he was down 4-2 with Fucsovics subsequently taking the set 6-3.
The Hungarian was at it again in the third set ahead of Djokovic 4-1 before the 13-time Grand Slam champion upped the ante, winning the next 10 games to secure a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and 6-0 victory securing his passage into the next round.
A newly instated heat rule for the men allowed a ten-minute break after the third set. It was from that moment Djokovic managed to regain his form taking the win home.
‘We obviously both struggled,’ said Djokovic. ‘Towards the end of the third set I hit the ball a bit better, before that it was survival mode.
‘I was praying that the next moment I would feel better as I wasn’t feeling great for the three sets. A lot of players struggled today but I will take this win.’
Djokovic also revealed that in the 10-minute break both players took an ice bath in the locker room.
Djokovic will be hoping that the next game he is set to play will be one that has better play for him and that he can win in shorter period of time.
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Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!