‘Stressed out’ Djokovic brings intensity to atmosphere-free US Open

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Novak Djokovic said his own “intensity” powered him into the second round of a crowdless US Open on Monday as he started his bid for an 18th Grand Slam off with a straight-sets win.

The Serbian superstar defeated unheralded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in just under two hours at an eerily quiet Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

The world No 1 took just 23 minutes to win the first set but labored to a narrow victory in the second before propelling himself into round two with a convincing third.

“I came out, played really well the first set. Second set I lost my focus, kind of got stressed out a couple times, screamed,” he told reporters.

“That’s obviously still there, regardless of the empty stadium. But this is what I bring to the court. I bring a lot of intensity, energy. Sometimes my reactions may not be so positive, but I try to bounce back,” he added.

Midway through the second set a clearly agitated Djokovic shouted in the direction of the stands at members of his team.

“Not the first time, probably not the last time,” he said.

“I was frustrated with my game, with some of the shots that I was playing at that time. Just I guess channelled it out in that way.

“That’s I guess not always the reaction that I want. As I said, that’s kind of a game and kind of an intensity that I bring on the court. Sometimes these things happen.”

Djokovic was also irked by a serve-clock rule that appeared quicker than at last week’s tournament at the same venue.

“I was not aware of it. No one really brought it to my attention. The lack of communication is something that worries me once again,” he moaned.

“We’ve played in the certain tempo, got used to it during the Western & Southern tournament, which just ended two days ago.

“Two days later we have a different rule that was just not communicated to us. That’s something that I found just not acceptable, not fair. But I guess I have to deal with it, and that’s it.”

The absence of defending champion Rafael Nadal and Swiss legend Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows gives Djokovic a prime opportunity to gain ground on his rivals in the chase for the all-time men’s Grand Slam singles title record.

Djokovic currently has 17, behind Nadal on 19 and Federer on 20.

The 33-year-old takes on Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round at the US National Tennis Centre.

“He does have a really good serve and forehand, two really big weapons,” Djokovic said of Edmund, ranked 44th in the world.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a really hard worker, puts a lot of hours on and off the court into perfecting his game.

“I think he does have the game and the potential to be in the top 20 without a doubt, where I expect him to be soon. So it’s going to be a tough one,” added the three-time US Open champion.

Results from opening day of US Open tennis championship in New York on Monday (x-denotes seed):

Men’s singles

First round

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-0

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER x28) bt Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-0, 7-5, 6-4

Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x20) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3

Mitchell Krueger (USA) bt Pedro Sousa (POR) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) bt Federico Gaio (ITA) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Steve Johnson (USA) bt John Isner (USA x16) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)

Denis Shapovalov (CAN x12) bt Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) bt Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA) 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 6-2

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Taylor Fritz (USA x19) bt Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Filip Krajinovic (SRB x26) bt Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Marcos Giron (USA) bt Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

Lloyd Harris (RSA) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4, 7-5, 6-2

David Goffin (BEL x7) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x4) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-2, 6-1, 6-1

Maxime Cressy (USA) bt Jozef Kovalik (SVK) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-3, 6-3, 7-5

Borna Coric (CRO x27) bt Pablo Andújar (ESP) 7-5, 6-3, 6-1

Egor Gerasimov (BLR) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB x18) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Attila Balazs (HUN) 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

Christian Garín (CHI x13) bt Ulises Blanch (USA) 4-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Cameron Norrie (GBR) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x9) 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5

Federico Coria (ARG) bt Jason Jung (TPE) 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 2-0 abandon

Alejandro Davidovich (ESP) bt Dennis Novak (AUT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0

Hubert Hurkacz (POL x24) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x32) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3

Jack Sock (USA) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2)

Brandon Nakashima (USA) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Alexander Zverev (GER x5) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5

Women’s singles

First round

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x1) bt Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 6-4, 6-0

Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-3, 6-2

Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Tamara Korpatsch (GER) 6-7 (13/15), 6-3, 6-2

Jennifer Brady (USA x28) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-3, 6-2

Angelique Kerber (GER x17) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-4, 6-4

Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) bt Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-2, 6-2

Ann Li (USA) bt Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1

Alison Riske (USA x13) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-3, 6-2

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x12) bt Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-1, 6-4

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Francesca Di Lorenzo (USA) 2-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0

Vera Lapko (BLR) bt Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ x23) bt Robin Montgomery (USA) 6-1, 6-3

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x30) bt Hailey Baptiste (USA) 7-5, 6-2

Varvara Gracheva (RUS) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4, 7-5

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) bt Alexandra Kiick (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

Petra Martic (CRO x8) bt Tereza Martincova (CZE) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4

Naomi Osaka (JPN x4) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5

Marta Kostyuk (UKR) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 6-1, 6-2

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x31) bt Cori Gauff (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

Magda Linette (POL x24) bt Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4

Danka Kovinic (MNE) bt Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Kaja Juvan (SLO) bt Usue Arconada (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)

Anett Kontaveit (EST x14) bt Danielle Collins (USA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

Elena Rybakina (KAZ x11) bt Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-3, 6-0

Shelby Rogers (USA) bt Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 6-2, 6-2

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-2, 6-2

Dayana Yastremska (UKR x19) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2)

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE x32) 7-6 (7/1), 6-4

Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) bt Whitney Osuigwe (USA) 6-3, 7-5

Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-3, 6-2

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