United Cup: Novak Djokovic overcomes wrist issues, downs Jiri Lehecka

Novak Djokovic is 2-0 at the United Cup after beating Jiri Lehecka in three sets

by Jovica Ilic
United Cup: Novak Djokovic overcomes wrist issues, downs Jiri Lehecka
© Will Russell / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is 2-0 in 2024. Novak faced the young Czech Jiri Lehecka in the second match at the United Cup and scored a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 triumph in two hours and 17 minutes. Novak played well in sets he won, overcoming a slight wrist scare ahead of the decider and returning at his best to keep Serbia alive against the Czech Republic.

Novak defended his second serve nicely in the opening set, facing no break points and keeping the pressure on the other side. He broke Lehecka two times in a row, building the advantage and gathering a boost. Djokovic held after deuce in the third game and seized his fourth break chance in the next one with a forehand crosscourt winner for a 3-1 lead.

The Serb fired a forehand down the line winner in the fifth game, cementing the advantage and pressuring his opponent.

Novak Djokovic took down Jiri Lehecka in Perth.

The young Czech played a loose forehand in the sixth game, getting broken again and falling 5-1 behind.

World no. 1 served for the opener in game seven, firing a service winner and wrapping up the first part of the duel in 35 minutes. Novak produced two fine holds at the beginning of the second set and broke Jiri at 15 in game three when the Czech placed a forehand long.

Djokovic grabbed the fourth game at love with a volley winner, forging a 6-1, 3-1 advantage in 53 minutes! Lehecka raised his level on the return in the sixth game, welcoming Djokovic's forehand error and locking the result at 3-3.

Not stopping there, Jiri fired a forehand down the line winner in the eighth game, producing his second straight break and serving for the set at 5-3.

Novak Djokovic, United Cup 2024© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak pulled the break back at the last moment, reducing the deficit and prolonging the set.

They served well until the tie break, and Djokovic looked good to seal the deal in straight sets. Instead, Lehecka opened a 4-2 lead and earned his third mini-break at 6-3, forcing a decider after an hour and 41 minutes. Novak received a massage on his right wrist ahead of the third set, and it helped him a lot.

The Serb clinched the first game with an ace and secured a break in the next one with a return winner. Novak broke again in the fourth game, forging a 4-0 lead and sailing toward the finish line. Lehecka avoided a bagel with a hold in game six, and Djokovic served for the victory at 5-1. Novak held at 15 to emerge at the top and deliver his second victory of the season.

Novak Djokovic Jiri Lehecka Jiri Lehecka