Novak Djokovic vs Jiri Vesely US Open 2016 Preview and Prediction

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Novak Djokovic was far from convincing in his opening round victory over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, needing four sets to pick up the victory against his opponent. He plays Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely who came through a tough match to make it to the second round. Vesely leads the H2H with 1-0.

Rumours continue over the state of Djokovic’s wrist and the betting markets have actually moved to make Andy Murray the favourite for the title due to the uncertainty over the World No.1’s fitness levels. It didn’t require medical attention in the 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1 win but Djokovic did take a medical time out for unrelated issues on his arm. Djokovic was statistically fairly impressive with 34 winners to just 18 unforced errors but will need to ensure he doesn’t throw in bad sets like the second which allowed Janowicz to extend the match to four sets.

Djokovic will be thankful to be heading into the second round against an opponent who had to play a lengthy five setter. Vesely was a winner in just under 4 hours, advancing thanks to a 7-6 4-6 2-6 6-2 7-5 win over Indian qualifier Saketh Myneni. Myneni looked like he would pick up a shock win when up 4-1 40-15* in the deciding set. However, Vesely managed to hold. He never looked back after saving a match point at 2-5 down, taking the last 5 games to avoid the upset.

Vesely is one of the few players to beat Djokovic this year, picking up a surprise three set win in Monte Carlo. He was complimentary of his opponent, even if he recognised the scenario is different given that this match will be best of five. “A couple years ago he already was there. He made a name of himself. Just gained the consistency I think over the last couple of years. He has a big game, a big serve, big forehand, and moves well for his size.” he said of the Vesely game.

It seems unlikely lightning will strike twice, especially after Vesely made such hard work against a much weaker opponent in the previous round. However, all eyes will be on the fitness of Djokovic who may well have lost a shade of invisibility after his Wimbledon loss to Sam Querrey. It does feel like a one off though and the World No.1 should progress easily unless his wrist and/or arm become serious problems.

Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets

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