Novak Djokovic roared back from two sets down to defeat Laslo Djere 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in a late-night, three-and-a-half hour, five-set thriller in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.
Djokovic, the defending champion and world No. 1, looked to be in trouble when Djere took the first two sets. But Djokovic found his form in the third set and never looked back, winning the final three sets to advance to the third round.
The match was Djokovic’s first since he was disqualified from the US Open last year for hitting a line judge with a ball. Djokovic was fined $10,000 and defaulted from the tournament, but he was allowed to keep his ranking points and prize money.
Djokovic will next face Jenson Brooksby in the third round. Brooksby, an American ranked 99th in the world, upset No. 14 seed Diego Schwartzman in the first round.
The win over Djere was Djokovic’s 35th consecutive victory at the US Open. He is now 36-3 overall in the tournament.
Djokovic is looking to win his third consecutive US Open title and his 22nd Grand Slam title overall. He is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis history.
The match was a physical one, with Djokovic and Djere both hitting winners from all over the court. Djokovic was more consistent in the final three sets, and he was able to break Djere’s serve four times.
Djokovic was also helped by the fact that Djere started to make more mistakes as the match went on. Djere had 62 unforced errors in the match, compared to Djokovic’s 40.
Djokovic showed great mental toughness in the match. He never gave up, even when he was down two sets. He kept fighting and eventually found a way to win.
The win was a confidence boost for Djokovic, who is still looking to find his best form after a slow start to the season. He will need to be at his best if he wants to win his third consecutive US Open title. But he showed in this match that he is capable of playing at a high level, even when he is not at his best.
The match was a classic example of Djokovic’s fighting spirit. He never gives up, no matter how difficult the situation. He is a true champion, and he will be a tough opponent for anyone in the US Open draw.