Novak Djokovic mobilizes to defeat Kei Nishikori

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after scoring a point against Kei Nishikori of Japan.

Novak Djokovic reacts after scoring a point against Kei Nishikori in their US Open third round match on Saturday. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

No. Seed 1 Novak Djokovic overcame his first-set tiebreaker loss to Kei Nishikori to rebound to a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Saturday and advance to the men’s fourth round of the United States Open.

Djokovic has beaten Nishikori 17 times in a row and 18 times in their 20 one-on-one clashes. But Nishikori fought well in the first set and took Djokovic through many long and entertaining rallies. Djokovic let out a primitive scream-like roar and slammed his chest with his fist after winning the third set, earning applause from a crowd who favored the underdog Nishikori but appreciated Djokovic’s great skills.

Djokovic continued his quest to complete a Grand Slam calendar – winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year – and claim his 21st Grand Slam singles title, which would break their tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Slam titles won by a male player.

“I was pretty passive,” Djokovic said of his departure against Nishikori. “I was too far down the court. He was dictating the play. It took a little while for me to adjust to his game. ”

Frances Tiafoe upsets Andrey Rublev

Frances Tiafoe returns a shot in her victory over Andrey Rublev at the US Open on Saturday.

Frances Tiafoe returns a shot in her victory over Andrey Rublev at the US Open on Saturday. (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

Working late didn’t bother Frances Tiafoe, who upset No. 5-seeded No. Andrey Rublev in a 3-hour and 46-minute game that started on Friday and ended at 2:14 a.m. on Saturday. ‘East. It was tied for the fifth final result in US Open history.

Tiafoe, who grew up playing at the Maryland Tennis Center where her father was the head of maintenance, served five of his 24 aces in the last set of his 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) , 4-6, 6-1 victory over Rublev. He Tiafoe also hit 15 winners in the fifth set, compared to four by Rublev.

Tiafoe, ranked 50th in the world, qualified for the fourth round for the second year in a row. “I love these games. That’s what you work for, ”he said in an on-pitch interview after the match. “That’s why you put in a long time playing the best guys in the world. These are the games I get up for. I want to [to beat] these guys. I want to put it on my CV. “

He credited the lively crowd that stayed at Arthur Ashe Stadium with giving him strength. “You are the reason I made it tonight. It was really tricky, ”he said. “You guys stuck with me all along… you did.”

A few hours after Tiafoe’s match ended, no. Sixth seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada kicked off Saturday’s program with an almost perfect 6-1, 6-2 victory over Belgium’s Greet Minnen at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Andreescu has been slowed down by injuries since winning the 2019 US Open women’s title, but has looked solid here. “I think I played really well today. This is what I have been working towards, ”she said. “To do it in two, probably one of my best games.”

Andreescu’s opponent in the fourth round will be No. 17th seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, who upset the n. 10 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3. “Petra is one of the toughest players on the tour. She is a great champion, ”said Sakkari. “Playing in front of this crowd was amazing.”

Youth movement

Another 18-year-old upstart advanced to the fourth round.

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain claimed a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo on Saturday at Court 17, continuing the trend for younger players to signal that they can play with their older rivals and more experienced.

She followed the examples given on Friday by 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who upset number one. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets in men’s singles, and Leylah Fernandez of Canada, 18, who defeated the reigning women’s champion and No.3. 3 seeds Naomi Osaka in three sets.

Raducanu, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, was born in Canada but moved to England at the age of 2. She had to qualify for a berth at the Open and she hasn’t lost a set here yet. His next opponent will be the winner of Saturday night’s game between Australia’s No. 1 Ash Barty and American Shelby Rogers.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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