Closing out the night session on Saturday at the US Open will be tournament favourite Novak Djokovic. The two time US Open champion plays Richard Gasquet for a spot in the second week at Flushing Meadows with the winner likely taking on 17th seed Lucas Pouille.
There has been little attention on Gasquet through the opening two rounds, where he won comfortably against Yuichi Sugita and Laslo Djere in straight sets. While he is a former semi finalist here, this run does represent a marked improved on his last two outings – where he was knocked out in the opening round on both occasions.
Djokovic has not been outstanding through his two matches so far, dropping a set against both Marton Fucsovics and now Tennys Sandgren. Aside from losing a third set tiebreak, it was otherwise routine for him it the 6-1 6-3 6-7 6-2 victory. However, the improvements from the start of the year are clear to see even if Djokovic admits work needs to be done still. “It’s a work in progress still. We are working daily on trying to perfect the game and put it together. Obviously last couple months have been really, really good in terms of results. But we both still feel that I have lots of room for improvement.” he said.
Djokovic has dominated this matchup over their careers with a 13-1 record against the Frenchman, only losing one match back on clay in 2007. There seems little reason to expect anything other than the record to move to 14-1 and the 6th seed to march on towards that anticipated quarter final with Roger Federer.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets