Novak Djokovic claims he ‘can play better’ despite emphatic US Open victory
Novak Djokovic is safely though to the third round of the US Open for a 16th time, however the Serb still appears to believe there is room for improvement as the tournament continues.
Djokovic beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles, 6-4 6-1 6-1, in just over two hours and described his victory as a ‘tough match’.
“It has been a tough match, especially in the first set with the conditions. On the hardcourt, you feel it more,” claimed Djokovic. “I guess that is because the heat is absorbed in the surface. But it is the same for both players and you have to accept it.
He added, “I didn’t start the match very well but in the second and third set, I was a couple of levels higher. I am very pleased with the way I ended the match.”
As Djokovic moves into the latter stages of his career, he spoke about the different ways his body reacts to competing, “It is a bit different than it was 10 years ago. My body is responding slightly differently nowadays.
“But the good thing with Grand Slams is that we have a day between matches. Plenty of time to recuperate, and work on certain things in your game. I feel that I can play better.”
Despite admitting his body is feeling different at the age of 36, Djokovic reveals that his motivation is as strong as ever, “At 36 years of age and after 20 years of coming to New York I still have the hunger and desire to play my best tennis on this court.”
Djokovic now moves onto the third round where he will play compatriot Laslo Djere, who he has beaten in their only previous meeting.
Novak Djokovic and his potential run to the US Open title
Djokovic has been moving through the rounds in comfortable fashion, however that has not been the case for some of the other seeds with only seven out of a possible 16 reaching the third round so far.
This appears to have opened up the draw for the 23-time Grand Slam champion and we, at Tennishead, have provided a potential US Open run for Djokovic (based off ranking):
First Round – Beat Alexandre Muller, 6-0 6-2 6-3
Second Round – Beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles, 6-4 6-1 6-1
Third Round – Laslo Djere (32)
Fourth Round – Borna Gojo
Quarter-final – Taylor Fritz (9)
Semi-final – Frances Tiafoe (10)
Final – Carlos Alcaraz (1)
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