With a file of 25-Zero this season and closest rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer lacking, how might he not be?
Nonetheless, it was some shock that the Serbian conceded the opener, even when his British opponent possesses one of many largest forehands within the sport.
France’s Kristina Mladenovic misplaced a tiebreak but in addition the match in considered one of grand slam tennis’ largest blown leads, having been up 6-1 5-1 and 4 match factors on the 102nd-ranked Varvara Gracheva.
“I am not a robotic, so I haven’t got to play day by day wonderful,” Pliskova, handed the highest seeding due to the absences of Ash Barty and Simona Halep, stated.
Djokovic has been taking part in wonderful within the truncated 2020 marketing campaign and in tiebreaks.
He had gained 18 of his earlier 20 tiebreaks, the lone blemishes each coming in London towards Dominic Thiem on the ATP Finals in November and Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon in July.
Nevertheless, London was additionally the positioning of his biggest tiebreak success in a single match. He memorably gained all three in final 12 months’s Wimbledon remaining towards Federer, not making a single unforced error. That included Wimbledon’s first ever 12-12 tiebreak in a finale.
On a steamy day in New York the place ball folks wanted to scrub sweat marks on court docket, Djokovic did make just a few unforced errors within the tiebreak towards Edmund — notably a drop shot into the online when main 4-3.
However an early break within the second acquired the 17-time grand slam winner on the trail to victory towards Edmund, who topped Djokovic on the clay in Madrid in 2018 and made the Australian Open semifinals months earlier.
We should always have recognized there can be some drama within the tussle, since British gamers had produced their justifiable share of theater the opening two days.
Mladenovic stated she had been positioned in what the US Open has known as an enhanced protocol plan — or in her phrases a “bubble within the bubble” — after coming into shut contact with a participant who had examined constructive for the virus.
For that, she likened it Monday to being in a “nightmare.”
There was one other nightmare for Mladenovic to endure Wednesday, as she “collapsed” towards Gracheva. She held the 4 match factors returning serve at 5-2 within the second set earlier than exiting 1-6 7-6 (2) 6-0.
“Yeah, it is positively probably the most painful match and loss I’ve had in my profession as a result of it is a grand slam and I used to be 6-1, 5-1 and 0-40,” she informed reporters in English in a Zoom name. “I used to be taking part in actually good tennis there however could not shut it out and convert my match factors. I feel that she saved it nicely.
“She was courageous and went for it however I did not take my probabilities and I wish to reply that query however from 5-2 slowly I began feeling that I used to be crashing down and I acquired tight and I simply collapsed. I had nothing left within the tank.”
Requested whether or not the additional protocols she had been positioned underneath performed a task within the end result, she replied, “Bodily and mentally I am fully drained. It is simply worse and worse. I simply wish to thank the USTA for the unreal expertise and, yeah, I do not wish to remark.”
Gamers have to be used to highs and lows and Mladenovic has actually had each. She is a former doubles No. 1 and former high 10 in singles and led her nation to a long-awaited Fed Cup title final 12 months.
Conversely, apart from the devastating setback towards Gracheva, Mladenovic as soon as misplaced 15 matches in a row.
The losses are nowhere in sight for Djokovic.