World No.1 and Defending Champion Novak Djokovic is all set to face a familiar opponent, Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in the second round of the 2016 US Open. His first round victory wasn’t as routine as one would expect. Facing a skilled yet erratic Jerzy Janowicz, Djokovic battled past the Pole in 4 sets, as concerns over his wrist injury loom.
This is the first time that Djokovic has dropped an opening set in the first round of the US Open since 2010.
Dip in form
The 29 year old Serbian superstar has seen a dip in form off late, especially since winning the French Open this year. Djokovic, who had a tremendous 2015, started the first half of the season with a bang, but could not quite carry on, losing in the 3rd round of Wimbledon and the first round of the Olympics.
After a disappointing 3rd round loss at Wimbledon 2016, he said: ‘It was nothing physical. It’s not an injury. It was some other things that I was going through privately.’ The World No.1 won the Roger’s Cup, but crashed out in the first round of the Olympics, and was seen in tears after the match.
His first round performance against Jerzy has been of particular concern, for Djokovic seemed to be extremely uneasy on his serve, serving way slower than he usually does. And while he will try to answer all questions regarding his form in his next match, a little brush up on history will make him suggest that it may actually not be easy.
Pros and cons
Vesely, the 2013 ATP Star of Tomorrow Winner has previously beaten Djokovic at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters this year. The win would give the Czech native a lot of confidence heading into the match.
However, Vesely has had his own share of woes. With a forgetful season despite his win over Djokovic earlier, Vesely also struggled in the first round, when he played India’s Saketh Myneni, and eventually beat him in the five extremely tight sets after trailing 2-5 in the decider.
But the 2nd round clash seems exciting of sorts, for Vesely is unpredictable, and Djokovic is having a lean period.
An upset is on the cards, and Djokovic’s response is absolutely necessary in sending a message to the rest of the tour.
Rahul is a tennis enthusiast and loves to write about sports in general. His inspirations are Rafael Nadal, Michael Phelps and Roger Federer.