“He’s one of the quickest players on the Tour. He played some really good shots and it was anybody’s game midway through the second set,” Djokovid said on court after the match. “I was pleased to close out the second set and then stepped it up [by] a couple of levels.”
All of Djokovic’s wins this year have come on hard courts. He earned his 35th ATP Masters 1000 title last week at the Western & Southern Open (d. Raonic) and now shares the record with Rafael Nadal for most Masters 1000 titles. The Serbian also edged further clear of Nadal and Roger Federer in the ‘Big Titles’ battle, with a 57th trophy at that level and could increase the gap even more if he wins his 18th Grand Slam title this fortnight.
Awaiting the three-time US Open champion (2011, 2015, 2018) in the next round is Kyle Edmund, who defeated Alexander Bublik 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-0. Djokovic holds a 5-1 over Edmund in their ATP Head2Head, including a fourth-round win at the 2016 US Open.
Djokovic Adds To ‘Big Titles’ Haul
Djokovic’s only blip in the first set came when he whiffed a backhand in the fourth point, but he quickly recovered and displayed his best form. The Serbian pushed Dzumhur well behind the baseline in their rallies and tossed in several crafty drop shots to end points, even throwing in a successful serve-and-volley play to close out the opening set.
Dzumhur continued to tirelessly chase down balls and mix up the pace on his shots in an effort to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm. His dogged determination was highlighted by saving six break points to hold serve at 3-3 in the second set. But Djokovic remained unfazed and broke Dzumhur at 4-4 before grabbing a commanding two-sets lead.
The third set was one-way traffic for Djokovic and he fired a forehand passing shot on match point to advance in one hour and 58 minutes. He finished the night with 31 winners to 29 unforced errors.