2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic eases past Jan-Lennard Struff to race into last 16



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2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic eases past Jan-Lennard Struff to race into last 16

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic earned the 75th victory at the US Open, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 43 minutes in the third round. The Serb had 34 winners and 23 unforced errors, saved all four break points and forced Struff to chase the same numbers if he wanted to remain in contention.

The German was far from that pace, getting broken five times from 11 opportunities offered to the mighty rival, who competed on a high level to find himself in the last 16. Novak had 11 winners and nine unforced errors in the first set, saving an early break chance and stealing the rival's serve once for a 6-3.

The Serb survived the opening game with a nice challenge, fending off a break point with a service winner and holding after two deuces with another powerful serve. They barely lost a point in the next four service games, with the German repelling Novak's first break opportunity with a service winner at 2-3 to stay on the positive side.

Djokovic held after deuce in game seven with a service winner, sending the pressure to the other side of the court and securing a break a few minutes later when Jan-Lennard sent a forehand wide. Serving for the set, the three-time champion blasted a service winner for 6-3 in 38 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the upcoming sets.

Serving at 91%, Novak lost five points behind the initial shot in set number two, mounting the pressure on the other side of the net with 11 winners and seven unforced errors. Struff couldn't match those numbers, getting broken twice to send Novak further in front.

Novak Djokovic lost seven games against Jan-Lennard Struff at the US Open.

Djokovic converted the fourth break opportunity in the opening game with a forehand crosscourt winner and held at 15 with an unreturned serve to open a 2-0 gap.

The German claimed the third game with an ace, reducing the deficit and staying in touch until game nine when he served to stay in the set. Novak grabbed the second break when his rival netted a backhand, taking it 6-3 and moving closer to the top after swift 72 minutes.

Maintaining a high level, the Serb landed 12 winners and seven unforced errors in set number three, fending off three break chances in games one and seven and moving over the top with a double break. The top seed survived two break points in the opening game and secured a break at love in game four to forge a 3-1 advantage.

Novak extended the gap with a hold at 15 a few minutes later, clinching another return game to open a 5-1 lead and repelling a break chance in game seven with a service winner to move over the top and advance into the last 16 for the 13th time.