Djokovic is attempting to extend his unbeaten start to the year to 25 matches. The World No. 1 has won each of his six encounters since the resumption of the ATP Tour, including five wins en route to his 35th ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the Western & Southern Open last week.
On a humid day in New York, Edmund came prepared with three pairs of shoes and an impressive game plan. The New York Open champion, who has been seen switching his shoes during changeovers, fired a series of powerful forehands in the first-set tie-break to take a one-set lead.
Edmund converted his first set point at 6/5 with a huge serve down the T, ending Djokovic’s perfect 10-0 record in tie-breaks this year. Djokovic entered the contest with a 19-1 record in his past 20 tie-breaks, dating back to his 2019 Wimbledon final victory against Roger Federer.
Djokovic moved away from an unsuccessful tactic of using drop shots in the second set and was gifted an early break at 2-1 when Edmund committed two double faults. The Serbian served with confidence to reach 5-3, where he recovered from 0/30 down to level the match. Djokovic clinched the set by landing his ninth ace of the match.
What. A. Forehand.
In an extended game at 1-1 in the third set, Djokovic charged across the baseline to extend rallies and extract consecutive errors from Edmund for a 2-1 lead. With momentum on his side, Djokovic rushed Edmund with a series of flat returns at 3-1 to break to love. The game proved to be the first of four consecutive breaks, but Djokovic regained his composure to hold serve at 5-4 with a forehand winner down the line.
Djokovic is aiming to record his sixth victory in seven ATP Head2Head meetings against Edmund, who earned his only victory against the 17-time Grand Slam champion on clay at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open.