Novak Djokovic bounces back from early setback to beat Kyle Edmund

World number one keeps up unbeaten year as he moves into third round

Kyle Edmund gave world number one Novak Djokovic a mild scare but bowed out of the US Open in the second round.

The British number two took the opening set against three-time champion Djokovic, who is unbeaten in 2020.

But the Serbian found his form to stretch his winning streak to 25 matches with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

World number 44 Edmund came into the match with a win over Djokovic under his belt, on clay in Madrid in 2018. He had also taken the first set when they met at Wimbledon later that year.

However, just as he did at SW19, Djokovic took the next three and made it six wins over the Briton to move a step closer to Grand Slam title number 18.

With Andy Murray among the players watching on from the empty stands in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Edmund went toe-to-toe with his illustrious opponent in the first set.

The 25-year-old saved three break points in the third game before finding his service rhythm impressively.

In the tie-break, Edmund fashioned the first set point on his own serve and took it in style with an ace right down the T.

However, Edmund came up with two double faults to hand Djokovic the first break of the match early in the second, and he drew level by crunching down an ace.

A double break in the third set put an increasingly pumped up Djokovic firmly in control and Edmund’s New York campaign was ended in three hours and 13 minutes.

Djokovic said: “I just had to hang in there, mentally. Kyle played a fantastic first set, he didn’t do much wrong, he served very well and was aggressive from the back of the court.

“For a set-and-a-half it was anybody’s game. But after the second set I felt more comfortable. It was a very good test and I’m happy to get through.”

Former Wimbledon champions Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova kept their US Open hopes on track after gritty second-round wins.

Kerber, the 17th seed, is playing in her 50th Grand Slam at the venue where she made her breakthrough, reaching the semi-final in 2011.

The 2016 Flushing Meadows winner came through a tight all-German clash against Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4 7-6 (6).

Kerber, 32, who won Wimbledon two years ago, said: “It’s always special to return to a place where you won. It’s a really special place for me, where it all started in 2011, and I’m still here competing. This is what I love.”

Kvitova, the two-time champion at SW19, has never made it further than the quarter-finals in New York.

The 30-year-old Czech, seeded six at this year’s championship, was slow to get moving but eventually beat Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3) 6-2.

She said: “It was very difficult especially with my nerves, I felt very tight. But it’s a Grand Slam, at the beginning of the tournament it’s always like this.”

Varvara Gracheva produced one of the most stunning comebacks in Grand Slam history when she came back from 6-1 5-1 down to beat 30th seed Kristina Mladenovic.

The 20-year-old from Russia, playing at her first major championships, saved four match points before taking the second set on a tie-break.

Mladenovic promptly crumbled as Gracheva completed a remarkable 1-6 7-6 (2) 6-0 victory.