US Open: Dominant Novak Djokovic ends Kyle Edmund’s excellent run

Novak Djokovic erased any doubts over his lack of match time and any injury concerns as he dispatched Britain’s Kyle Edmund in straight sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round of the US Open.

The two players had met once before in a high quality second round clash in Miami this year, but it was the world number one who was victorious 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic had played just six games since he won his first round match in four sets last Monday so was feeling very fresh, but potentially undercooked in terms of match play. Meanwhile, Edmund was having the tournament of his life, beating Richard Gasquet in round one before reaching the fourth round of a slam for the first time after defeating John Isner in four sets to set up this clash.

Djokovic dominant in the first set

There was a delay to proceedings for the night session due to the five set epic between Lucas Pouille and Rafael Nadal in the day and as a result the players did not walk out until 22:10 local time.

The world number one looked to impose himself early on as he fired two down the line forehand winners past the Brit in the third game to move to 0-30. Edmund recovered to reach game point but Djokovic was not to be denied a break of serve, closing the game with a backhand volley winner to take a 2-1 lead.

When attempting to consolidate the break the defending champion wobbled as Edmund struck a forehand down the line winner before the Serb hit a double fault to offer up a break point. Djokovic responded by hitting an unreturnable first serve on his way to a second hold of serve.

In the following game the world number one had two break point chances to extend his lead but the Brit forced the Serb into making errors. Djokovic earned a third opportunity and got his reward, securing a double break. The world number one had no problems closing out the set on serve, taking it 6-2 after 34 minutes.

Wonderful tennis from the world number one

Djokovic made an equally good start in set number two, racing to a 0-40 lead on the Brit’s serve. Edmund saved one chance but could not deny the Serb another break. The world number 84 ripped a backhand cross court winner to move to break point but could not convert that chance or a second as the defending champion held for 2-0.

The British number three could not buy a hold of serve as Djokovic continued to pile on the pressure, moving to 0-40 on serve once again. Edmund could not deny the Serb a second break of serve before he held to move 4-0 ahead.

The Brit battled hard to get his first hold of serve and game on the board in the second set and then forced deuce on the Serb’s serve, but could not make any further inroads on this occasion. Djokovic continued to produce stellar tennis and shot making of the highest order as he broke Edmund once again to wrap up the second set 6-1.

Djokovic started the third set in similar fashion, opening with a hold before breaking Edmund to love as we reached an hour and a quarter for the match time in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Edmund will rise to a career high in the rankings next week. Photo: Getty
Edmund will rise to a career high in the rankings next week. Photo: Getty

The Brit makes a breakthrough

The British number three ripped a forehand winner to move to another break point, but the Serb did not allow him to capitalize. Yet, the world number 84 was not to be denied as he forced the world number one to net a volley to concede serve for the first time.

The Serb seals victory

After Edmund held to level at 2-2 the two-time US Open champion played another poor service game to drop serve once again after a backhand went over the baseline. Djokovic immediately broke back and secured a final break at the crucial time in the tenth game to seal the set and the match 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. The world number one will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.


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