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US Open: Djokovic advances, Pliskova eliminated

Novak Djokovic

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |   Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia survived a first set scare to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the US Open, while women’s top seed Karolina Pliskova suffered an early exit on Wednesday.

World number one Djokovic struck 51 winners to notch up the win against Edmund, extending his unbeaten run this year to 25 matches.

“It was anybody’s game really for a set and a half. I made some breaks and then obviously after winning the second set I felt more comfortable. I was returning better, I started to read his serve better, and I was pleased with my serve. Overall, it was a very good test, and I am happy to get through,” said Djokovic, who is bidding to capture his fourth US Open trophy and 18th Grand Slam title.

“Kyle played a fantastic first set,” added Djokovic. “He didn’t do much wrong, he served very well and was aggressive from the back of the court. Usually his forehand is a weapon, but his backhand, especially in the first set, was very strong, very solid.”

Djokovic will face Jan-Lennard Struff for a spot in the round of 16. The German needed one hour and 40 minutes to move past American Michael Mmoh 6-2, 6-2, 7-5.

There were also second round wins for fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, fifth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and seventh seed David Goffin of Belgium.

In women’s singles, top seed Pliskova of the Czech Republic was upset by France’s Caroline Garcia in the second round.

Garcia looked untouchable in the first set and for much of the second, blasting 30 winners and breaking Pliskova’s serve three times en route to the 6-1, 7-6 (2) victory.

“It’s top players, so if you wait for the mistake it’s never going to happen,” Garcia said. “If you let Pliskova breeze and take your serve, you’re never going to make a return, and then it’s 6-4, 6-4 and you’re done in one hour.”

“I was really focused each game and each point. Especially against top players, one point can make the difference. So I had to stay very calm and keep going,” the world number 50 added.

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka of Japan booked her place in the third round with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win over Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

“It’s a great motivation for me to want to do well this tournament, but for the most part I feel like I’ve been in quarantine and practising for so long, so I prefer to play matches,” Osaka said.

Earlier, sixth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic edged past Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3), 6-2, and eighth seed Petra Martic of Croatia beat fellow Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4 to also advance into third round.

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