2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic overcomes slow start to beat Kyle Emdund



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2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic overcomes slow start to beat Kyle Emdund

World no. 1 and three-time US Open winner Novak Djokovic reached the third round for the 15th time in as many New York trips. Novak defeated Kyle Edmund 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 after three hours and 13 minutes, earning his 74th US Open victory and moving one clear from Ivan Lendl, who stayed on 73.

It was the 25th triumph for Djokovic in as many matches in 2020, overcoming a tough opening set to dominate the rest of the clash and secure the third round berth. Kyle defeated Novak in Madrid 2018 and made a solid start in this one before losing steam, failing to keep that level in the rest of the encounter and suffering six breaks from 12 chances offered to the Serb.

Firing 51 winners and 34 unforced errors, Novak suffered two breaks in the third set and played well in others behind the initial shot, crumbling Edmund with deep and precise strokes and marching into the last 32. The opening set lasted for 70 minutes, and nothing could separate the rivals on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, with Edmund taking the tie break 7-5.

The Briton fended off three break chances in the third game, following Djokovic's pace and using some tactical errors from the Serb who couldn't find the safe zone with his drop shots. Kyle earned the crucial mini-break at 5-5 in the breaker, closing the set with a booming ace down the T line for a massive boost.

Novak Djokovic defeated Kyle Edmund in four sets to reach the US Open last 32.

Raising his level, Novak lost six points behind the initial shot in set number two, sailing through his service games and challenging the Briton to repeat that if he wanted to stay competitive.

Kyle suffered a break in the fourth game following a double fault, with Novak forging a 4-1 advantage after a hold at love, taking nine of the last 11 points to gain momentum. Serving for the set at 5-3, Djokovic grabbed four straight points and clinched it with an ace, becoming the favorite in the remaining sets.

Losing ground, Edmund got broken in games three, five and seven in set number three, pulling two of those back at 1-4 and 2-5 to prolong the action. Novak netted a backhand to get broken at 5-2, failing to wrap up the set but fixing that at 5-4 after landing a forehand down the line winner.

The fourth set's first game saw four deuces, with Novak converting the third break chance following Edmund's forehand error. The Serb held at 15 after a fantastic point in game four, increasing the advantage to a 4-1 with another break when Kyle sprayed a backhand mistake.

Novak secured the sixth game with a service winner and moved over the top with four winners at 5-2 to remain on the title course.