Djokovic overcomes spirited Kudla to reach US Open fourth round
Novak Djokovic reached the fourth round of the US Open after overcoming Denis Kudla in an enthralling encounter at the Athur Ashe Stadium.
This was only the second ever meeting between these two players, but the first came just last month. In the first round at Wimbledon.
The Serbian defeated Kudla in straight sets that day: winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 at the All England Club.
And while history repeated itself at Flushing Meadows in that respect, Kudla did get a little closer to the Serb.
Having taken the first set 6-3, the second posed a particularly challenging battle at times for the World No1.
Kudla, buoyed on by a strong home crowd, had four break points during the set – but each time Djokovic fought back to hold, eventually doubling his advantage with a 6-4 triumph.
Djokovic is nursing a shoulder injury of course, but he was moving soundly enough, and the rallies created by these two players contradicted the 110 places which separated them in the world rankings before play began.
Kudla spurned another opportunity in the second game of the third to record the break his play deserved. It would have been mere consolation on the night, but a significant win you feel in the long run.
Djokovic wrapped up the third with a 6-2 win, triumphing in straight-sets, and he moved on to the fourth round where he will face Stan Wawrinka.