Novak Djokovic bounced back after losing the first two sets to open 2023

Novak Djokovic bounced back after losing the first two sets to open 2023

India News

It is common knowledge that Novak Djokovic should never be underestimated, no matter how challenging the situation or his initial performance.

It was only natural for Djokovic to stage an impressive comeback from a two-set deficit, eventually defeating Laslo Djere with a final score of 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the U.S. Open. This victory prevented what could have been his earliest exit from the tournament since 2006.

Reflecting on the match, Djokovic commented, “Trust me, it was nerve-racking all the way until the last shot.”

This intense contest began in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night, lasting for more than 3.5 hours and concluding just after 1:30 a.m.

Djokovic’s remarkable comeback marked his eighth career win after trailing by two sets in a match, further solidifying his reputation as a resilient competitor. He also held a 38-11 record in five-set matches throughout his illustrious career.

Once Djokovic gained control, he maintained a tight grip on the match, leaving Djere with little room for recovery. In the crucible of the fifth set, Djokovic remained remarkably composed, securing 12 of the initial 14 points, leaving no doubt about the outcome.

Djokovic has claimed three of his record-breaking 23 Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows and has been a finalist on six other occasions, including in 2021. Notably, he was absent from the U.S. Open the previous year due to travel restrictions as an unvaccinated foreigner, which were lifted in May 2023.

In this year’s U.S. Open, Djokovic held the No. 2 seed position, trailing behind Carlos Alcaraz. The tennis world had eagerly anticipated a championship clash between these two formidable players on September 10, a rematch of their thrilling Wimbledon final in July, which Alcaraz had won in five sets.

However, Djere, a 28-year-old Serbian player seeded 32nd in New York, seemed poised to disrupt this anticipated showdown. This would have marked a significant milestone in his career, aiming to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Prior to this match, Djere had a winless record of 0-6 at majors against opponents ranked in the Top 10.

Curiously, the usual intimidation factor that often favored Djokovic in his matchups appeared to be less prominent on this cool evening—at least initially. These two countrymen had known each other for years, practicing together, sharing time as Davis Cup teammates, and even competing as a doubles pairing on the tour.

As the match concluded, Djokovic and Djere exchanged a heartfelt hug at the net. Djokovic graciously applauded as Djere departed the court.

Djokovic reflected on his performance, saying, “I didn’t have many options in the beginning, but in the third set, I managed to lift myself up. Once I secured the break in the third, I thought, ‘Okay, I have a shot. I have a chance. I might as well go after it… I started to read his game more than I did in the first two sets.”

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