World number one Novak Djokovic’s quest for a Grand Slam schedule and a record 21st major title remains on track after outlasting Jenson Brooksby 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in a grueling showdown at the US Open.
The unannounced US qualifier and world number 99 Brooksby made the crowd roar after an incredible opening set against Djokovic in Monday’s round of 16 at Flushing Meadows.
However, Djokovic – attempting to become the third man to win all four slams in the same year and the first since Rod Laver in 1969 – responded to the almighty challenge, showcasing his superior physique as the three-time US champion Open rallied to the quarterfinal. -finals in New York.
Brooksby was making his first appearance at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the 20-year-old was looking to become the lowest-ranked player to beat a number one at the US Open since the ATP rankings began in 1973 and the youngest American since Andy. Roddick (Wimbledon 2003) to reach a major quarterfinal.
He was unimpressed on the big stage, bombarding Djokovic in a remarkable first set. Playing with a bounce in his step and putting the crowd on its feet, Brooksby made just one unforced error in a dominant 29-minute display, which included two service breaks.
Djokovic was 38-34 in Grand Slam when he lost the opening set and 12-10 at Flushing Meadows and after a mistake-filled opening game the Serbian star let out an almighty roar after taking a 3-0 lead.
Just as Djokovic – tied on 20 men’s slams with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – looked comfortable, he endured a fifth 20-minute marathon match against Brooksby.
Brooksby broke on the sixth time on demand and the breathtaking tennis continued as Djokovic came straight back to regain his 4-2 advantage – the latter finished the game with an intense gaze towards his opponent.
After a grueling second set to tie the game, the third followed a similar pattern, with Djokovic breaking the opener before taking the advantage 3-0.
Djokovic didn’t give up on that lead, hitting 13 winners while collecting 11 of his 13 points at the net as he won the game at Brooksby.
Brooksby fought a huge fight, but couldn’t maintain his charge as the crowd fell silent – Djokovic contemplating a last-eight showdown with sixth-seeded Matteo Berrettini in a rematch of the Wimbledon final .
Data slam: Djokovic flawless against New York locals
With his hard-fought victory, which lasted nearly three hours, Djokovic improved to 11-0 against the Americans at the US Open. He’s 29-3 in major events and 70-10 in ATP level games. The 34-year-old has been on a 21-game winning streak against players from the United States since Sam Querrey ended his 30-game Wimbledon streak in 2016.
WINNERS / UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 44/41
Brooksby – 27/28
AS / DOUBLE FAULT
Djokovic – 9/1
Brooksby – 4/1
BREAKING POINTS EARNED
Djokovic – 6/12
Brooksby – 3/11