Grand Slam record winner Novak Djokovic survived a very critical phase in his US Open title quest and, thanks to a furious comeback, made it to the last 16. The Serbian struggled against his strong compatriot Laslo Diri after falling 0-2 and won an exciting match in New York after a huge improvement in the performance 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6.3.
The 36-year-old took advantage of his second chance to win the match after 3:47 hours on his way to his 24th Grand Slam title and prevented him from leaving the US Open for the first time in 17 years. It was the eighth time in his career that Djokovic had converted a 0-2 two-set lead into a win.
Djokovic told the crowd, “I hope you enjoy the show. I didn’t have the right to have fun. It was one of the toughest matches here in recent years.”
And in the round of 16, he will meet the three-time US Open champion, who will return to the top of the world rankings after the tournament in Flushing Meadows, with Croatian Borna Gogo. “I’m not interested in my next competition,” Djokovic said. “I need to sleep and rejuvenate.”
Djokovic was initially unusually prone to errors in the night session on Arthur Ashe Court, and Geary, ranked 38th in the world, played cheeky and highly focused from the start. In the first set, Djokovic kept shaking his head in disbelief, and after the second set “Joker” went to the locker room for a long break – and came back transformed in the third.
Djokovic suddenly found his game, pushed himself, and cheered loudly. He now took control and forced an outstretched Jerry into the fifth set. And at 1:32 a.m. local time, the star made it to the next round.
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