Novak Djokovic eases into US Open third round in straight sets
Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic also faced no problems in the searing temperatures
Novak Djokovic dances on the court with a fan after defeating Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria during their US Open 2015 second round men’s singles match in New York. Photo: Don Emmert/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic took a while to warm up against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer but shifted into gear to close out the first set and then raced to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win that closed Wednesday’s play of the US Open.
Earlier, defending champion Marin Cilic and two-time winner Rafa Nadal also eased into the third round with straight sets win as the temperatures and stakes continue to rise at the year’s final grand slam.
World No1 Djokovic, who lost only three games in his opening-round victory, led 5-4 in an indifferent first set that went with serve before suddenly snapping into focus to break the Austrian to love.
Flicking winners off his forehand and burying backhands deep into corners, the Serb dropped only three more games as he sailed to victory and a place in the third round.
The reigning Australian and Wimbledon champion registered 27 winners and did not face a single break point in his demolition of 28-year-old Haider-Maurer, a winner of nine career Challenger titles but none on the ATP World Tour.
Djokovic next plays Italy’s Andreas Seppi, a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 winner against Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili.
After playing his opening match on an outside court, Cilic took his US Open title defence back to Arthur Ashe Stadium and looked right at home, storming into the third round with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy.
During last year’s magical run Cilic was invincible on the main court, sweeping past Tomas Berdych in the quarters, taking out Roger Federer in three sets in the semi-finals and Kei Nishikori in a one-sided final.
“This court is very special for me, brings back special memories,” the ninth seeded Cilic said. “It’s sort of unreal. I was working all my life to win a grand slam and now I’m in position to defend one.”
Two-time champion Nadal got his second round contest off to a sluggish start but the eighth seeded Spaniard was quickly in control, dispatching Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 7-5 as the Argentine saw his record against top 10 opponents drop to 0-6.
After a first round littered with upsets, second round action went largely according to script as Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer beat Serb Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) and Canadian 10th seed Milos Raonic fought off back pain to beat Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-4, 6 -7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1).