September 3, 2020
Novak Djokovic praised ‘fantastic’ Kyle Edmund and ‘champion’ Andy Murray after another impressive day for the Brits at the US Open.
Cameron Norrie flew under the Djokovic radar as he broke into new territory.
But Norrie won’t mind that too much after reaching the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Meanwhile Edmund gave Djokovic an almighty scare by taking the first set in their much-anticipated showdown.
Novak said later: ‘Kyle played a fantastic first set. He served very well and was aggressive from the back of the court. His backhand was very strong and solid.’
We’ll hope for that sort of form from Edmund at Wimbledon 2021. He is definitely on his way back to his very best.
Kyle took the first-set tie-break with an ace and he looked so confident that British tennis fans began to dream.
Unfortunately he couldn’t quite take that level of intensity into the next set, as Djokovic found his feet to win 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Novak added: ‘After winning the second set I felt a bit more comfortable and I’m pleased to get through.’
Some of the Djokovic defensive work defied belief. You just knew that no other player on earth could have reached balls that mere mortals would have given up as lost causes.
Djokovic roared his defiance as he worked these sporting miracles. And they were a fitting gift to a family member who was very much in his thoughts.
‘Happy birthday to my daughter Tara, she gave me a lot of energy and strength,’ Novak said.
Norrie’s own fighting spirit was also admirable as he defeated Federico Coria 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
He managed to thwart Coria’s second-set comeback bid and the unsung Brit quickly resumed control.
Cameron insisted he has plenty more to give, too. He explained: ‘It’s great to be in the third round for the first time. It’s even better when I’m still not even playing my best tennis.’
Meanwhile Andy Murray’s incredible five-set win is still the talk of Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic admitted: ‘He’s truly a champion. He has a big heart. He’s a real fighter, a great example of someone who leaves it all on the court.
‘Being very determined, especially after everything he has been through…then coming back, winning last week against Zverev, who is a top-ten player, winning a tournament in Belgium last year, I mean, it’s really impressive.’
If Murray can win a five-set thriller at the US Open, what could he achieve at Wimbledon 2021?
There seems no limit to what we can wish for at the All England Club next summer.
But anything is a bonus from this point on for Murray at Flushing Meadows.
By winning in such spectacular style, he has already announced his return to the big time.
For top women’s seed Karolina Pliskova, however, the US Open is already over.
She lost in straight sets to Caroline Garcia. That means Serena Williams is running out of serious rivals for the US Open title.
Can she finally win that historic 24th Grand Slam? We’ll soon find out!