Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer moved through at the US Open, but the stars advanced from contrasting matches on Monday.

Djokovic, the world number one and defending champion, had few problems against Roberto Carballes Baena at Flushing Meadows.

But Federer survived a surprise scare against Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal before getting through in New York.

The superstar pair progressed on what was a good day for the seeds in the men's draw, with only three making exits.

 

DJOKOVIC DELIGHTS

Djokovic did not face a break point on his way to a 6-4 6-1 6-4 victory over Carballes Baena on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Serbian star mixed 25 winners with 30 unforced errors, breaking four times in a commanding win.

Djokovic will next face Juan Ignacio Londero after the Argentinian got past Sam Querrey 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

FEDERER FIGHTS THROUGH

Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, was well below his best in a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 win against world number 190 Nagal.

The Swiss star finished with 57 unforced errors – and 61 winners – as he won through in two hours, 29 minutes.

Federer will hope for an improved display when he faces Damir Dzumhur, who recorded a 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-0 win over Elliot Benchetrit.

ONE STEP AT A TIME FOR MEDVEDEV

Kei Nishikori advanced as Marco Trungelliti retired on Monday, before the Japanese reeled off a list of names he believes are capable of challenging the 'Big Three', potentially starting at Flushing Meadows.

Nishikori named himself, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Nick Kyrgios and also Daniil Medvedev. "I think things are starting to change a little bit now," he said.

But fifth seed Medvedev, who defeated Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets, while appreciative of Nishikori's words, is not ready to talk of titles just yet.

"At this moment of my career, I haven't even been in the quarters of a slam yet," he said. "So that's the first step to make.

"If I make this step, then I can talk about bigger goals and bigger achievements."

Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 champion and 23rd seed, battled through, overcoming Jannik Sinner 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3.

Only three seeds exited, with Fabio Fognini (11), Guido Pella (19) and Taylor Fritz (26) departing.

Novak Djokovic said he is prioritising grand slam success after starting his US Open title defence with victory over Roberto Carballes Baena.

Defending champion and world number one Djokovic eased past Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-4 at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Having survived a dramatic Wimbledon final against Roger Federer for his 16th grand slam, Djokovic is eyeing his fourth US Open crown and third major of the year.

Federer holds the record for most men's slams with 20 and Djokovic – while determined to add to his 33 ATP Masters 1000 trophies – is focused on peaking at major tournaments.

"I mentioned in my last news conference that obviously at this stage of my career and my life, it's mostly about grand slams, really," the 32-year-old Serbian told reporters.

"How can I set my shape and form to be at my best to reach the peak of my tennis performance and my abilities on the grand slam. They matter the most in the history of our sport. And certainly motivate me the most.

"Of course I do value every tournament that I play on, especially the big ATP 1000 Masters events, try my best. These are the events where I want to perform my best.

"Taking that into consideration, it's no different approach than it was in the past 10 years. Very motivated, very focused, very determined to do well. I have been in this particular situation many times in my career, and I know, you know, what feels comfortable for me, what I need to do in order to get far in the tournament.

"Obviously, I have lots of respect for anybody that I play against, and today I played against a player that I never faced before. That doesn't happen too often.

"It was a solid performance. I think I can still play better, but it's kind of expected for the first match and then, you know, I'm hoping that I can build from here."

Djokovic will face Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round of the US Open.

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a serene start to his US Open title defence, turning in a classy display to ease away from Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-4 at Flushing Meadows.

The brilliant world number one almost appeared to be entertaining his opponent's brave efforts early on, saving his first break of the match for the final game of the opener.

But then Djokovic accelerated out of sight and Carballes Baena simply had no answer, adding his name to the list of opponents who cannot get near the Serbian on this form.

Title number four in New York - and a third major triumph of the year - is in Djokovic's sights as he moves through to round two, where he will meet Sam Querrey or Juan Ignacio Londero.

It did not take long for Carballes Baena, playing Djokovic for the first time, to get a taste of what might be to come. The Spaniard had to fend off three break points before holding in a first service game that lasted close to 10 minutes.

But Carballes Baena would not be easily outmanoeuvred and cancelled out another two opportunities in the eighth game, briefly getting the better of Djokovic's outstanding defence.

Indeed, the underdog then took the match to the Serbian but this time merely prompted a cutting response, the set sealed in the top seed's favour after some fine work at the net.

Djokovic moved through the gears and broke immediately in the second, working his opponent into the ground as the early entertainment gave way to an inevitable outcome, with Carballes Baena conceding another tired break.

The world number 76 tried to stick with Djokovic again at the start of the third, only to go long on break point and set up a swift and straightforward finish.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [1] bt Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 25/30
Carballes Baena – 25/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 4/3
Carballes Baena – 5/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 4/11
Carballes Baena – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 60
Carballes Baena - 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 84/66
Carballes Baena – 60/55

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic – 94
Carballes Baena – 70

Novak Djokovic says Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have made a "great impact" since rejoining the ATP player council and welcomed a shorter meeting with the legendary duo in New York on Friday.

Federer and Nadal returned to the council this month in what has been a turbulent year politically on the men's tour.

Djokovic revealed in June that he considered joining a mass player council exodus because the governance structure is so inefficient and he feels seven-hour meetings are "unacceptable".

The world number one and head of the council has welcomed Federer and Nadal's decision to step up after they held talks ahead of the US Open.

Djokovic said at Flushing Meadows: "The impact is already great because they are the legends of our sport and two big names joining the council.

"There's already been a big impact on the rest of the players in the council, of course the larger group of tennis players in general, knowing that these two guys are willing to contribute, to come in to help out, to support, to participate in discussions and some decision-making.

"It was interesting. It has never happened that you have one, two, and three of the world in [a] council group that is [a] group of 10 players. So, all I hear from other players is positive comments about it.

"And it went well. They were very engaged. So, I'm looking forward to working with them."

Asked if it was not another seven-hour meeting, he added: "It wasn't and actually, that's why it was very surprising, to be honest.

"Because the last two before last night, the last two meetings we had were six and seven hours. And this [on Friday] was two, two hours 15 minutes. Because it was well prepared prior to the meeting, and we still didn't go through a full agenda. Of course, that's what happens most of the time.

"It's good that we at least are doing also work prior to sitting down so we could have a more efficient meeting."

There stood Roger Federer, already among the greats and with a fifth straight US Open title secured.

It was 2008 and the Swiss star had just passed Roy Emerson on the all-time list of major winners, securing his 13th and continuing his dominance at Flushing Meadows with a straight-sets victory over Andy Murray in the final.

Novak Djokovic had won his first grand slam in Melbourne at the start of the year and Rafael Nadal was still unbeaten at Roland Garros, the Spaniard then going on to clinch his first Wimbledon title.

It marked the third straight year in which the 'Big Three' had swept the grand slams, a feat they are looking to repeat 11 years later.

How little has changed entering the 2019 US Open, which starts on Monday.

Federer (three), Nadal (four) and Djokovic (four) have won the past 11 majors and still we wait for the 'Next Gen' to break through as the three greatest male players of all-time continue to dominate.

Murray's career-interrupting hip injury reduced the 'Big Four' to the 'Big Three' and there is no sign of anyone taking the three-time grand slam champion's place of being a consistent challenger at majors.

The years 2006 to 2008 marked the years of Federer and Nadal, and 2018-19 have been Djokovic's. The Serbian could finish this year having won three grand slams in a season.

In between, anticipated contenders have come and gone (Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic are 28) or come and been consistent without breaking through (Kei Nishikori is 29).

Stan Wawrinka was a regular star and won three grand slams before his injury woes, while Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro took their chances at Flushing Meadows in 2014 and 2009 respectively.

Another so-called 'Next Gen' – the likes of David Goffin (28) and Jack Sock (26) – has been replaced, while Dominic Thiem (25) looks the likeliest challenger to Nadal at Roland Garros.

Now emerges another group in Daniil Medvedev (23), Alexander Zverev (22), Stefanos Tsitsipas (21), Karen Khachanov (23) and Borna Coric (22).

Yet it remains hard to see the final verdict on 2019 not simply echoing that of 2008 as the 'Big Three' bid to complete another major sweep.

Rafael Nadal does not believe he has an advantage heading into the US Open after he was drawn away from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

World number two Nadal was placed in the bottom half of the draw, and cannot meet Federer or Djokovic until the final should he get that far.

However, the Spaniard shrugged off any suggestion he holds an edge going into the final grand slam of 2019.

"I don't know. I have to win my matches to have an advantage because I only can meet them after the semi-finals," Nadal said.

"I have plenty of work before that to know if I have an advantage or not. So let's see if I am able to do my work.

"That's not an advantage or disadvantage. That's part of the draw. That's part of the things that happen when you are No.1, No.2 and No.3.

"For example, at Wimbledon it was the other way. They changed. Now here is the opposite. Let's see what's going on."

Second seed Nadal opens his campaign against John Millman, who knocked Federer out in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows in 2018.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, who also upset Federer last season, and Fernando Verdasco are potential second and third-round opponents. 

Dominic Thiem – seeded fourth – could meet Nadal in the semi-final, in what would be a repeat of the French Open final, as well as an epic quarter-final from last season's US Open.

"He is the No.4 now. Every year he's improving," Nadal said of the 25-year-old Austrian.

"Already this year he won a Masters 1000 on hard. He played again the final in Roland Garros. Every day he is a very solid, and every year is more solid.

"He has everything to win important events. He already is winning important events. He's a very, very hard worker. Just a question of time that he achieve all his goals."

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova face a mouthwatering first-round tie at the US Open, while Novak Djokovic is on the same side of the men's draw as Roger Federer.

Williams will be a heavy favourite given her 19-2 head-to-head record over Sharapova, though it will be the first time the rivals have gone up against each other in New York.

The pair last met on court in the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals, where Williams was victorious, with a last-16 tie at the 2018 French Open a non-starter due to the American suffering a pectoral injury.

Sharapova has not defeated her illustrious foe in a match since 2004 and faces a monumental challenge against Williams, who was beaten in the final 12 months ago by Naomi Osaka.

Top seed Osaka's bid to defend her title at Flushing Meadows begins against Anna Blinkova, while Kiki Bertens is a potential quarter-final opponent.

Second seed Ashleigh Barty, who made a major breakthrough at Roland Garros, opens up against Zarina Diyas and faces a potential last-eight meeting with Williams.

Karolina Pliskova (3) and Simona Halep (4) each face qualifiers in round one, the latter on a potential last-eight collision course with Petra Kvitova (6). 

Defending men's champion Djokovic, aiming to win a third slam of 2019, faces the unheralded Roberto Carballes Baena first but could be set for a daunting run at Flushing Meadows.

Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, a man in form having reached the finals in Washington and Montreal while also winning the title in Cincinnati, is Djokovic's projected quarter-final opponent, while Federer may stand in the way in the semis.

Five-time champion Federer faces a qualifier first up, while on the other side of the draw Rafael Nadal has a tricky first-round tie with John Millman – who upset Federer in round four a year ago.

Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev could all prove potential road blocks for Nadal in the latter stages.

The final grand slam tournament of the year is almost here, as the US Open begins at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Novak Djokovic, the dominant force in men's tennis, will hope to defend his title, while Naomi Osaka is looking to rediscover her best major form at the scene of her first triumph.

Meanwhile, veterans Roger Federer and Serena Williams have records in their sights in New York.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the key numbers heading into this year's US Open.

 

Men's singles

4 - Djokovic has won four of the past five grand slams – Rafael Nadal claiming the only other title at this year's French Open.

2 - World number one Djokovic is bidding to become just the second man, after Federer (2004 to 2008), to defend his Flushing Meadows title in the 21st century.

35 - The oldest men's US Open champion in the Open Era was Ken Rosewall in 1970 at 35 years, 10 months and 11 days. Federer will be 38 at Flushing Meadows.

5 - Three men have won the tournament a record five times since the sport went professional: Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Federer.

8 - Djokovic only has three US Open titles but has played the joint-most finals in the Open Era (eight, along with Ivan Lendl and Sampras).

0 - The US Open is the only one of the four men's grand slams that has not seen a player claim the title without dropping a set in the Open Era.

61 - At least one of Djokovic, Federer or Nadal has made the semi-finals of every major since Wimbledon 2004, a streak of 61 tournaments.

 

Women's singles

3 - Having won back-to-back majors in the shape of last year's US Open and then the Australian Open, Osaka has not been past the third round at her past two grand slams, losing her opener at Wimbledon.

1 - But across the previous 16 grand slams, Osaka is the only female to have won consecutive titles.

33 - Williams, like Federer in the men's tournament, is aiming to become the oldest women's US Open champion of the Open Era at 37. The record belongs to 2015 champion Flavia Pennetta at 33 years, six months and 18 days.

2 - Simona Halep could become the first European since Kim Clijsters (2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open) to win consecutive grand slams.

24 - Williams has 23 grand slam crowns, the most of the Open Era, and another would see her draw level with all-time record holder Margaret Court.

10 - However, the American has not won any of the past 10 majors - her longest run without victory since 2002.

17 - The women's championship has been won without dropping a set on 17 occasions in the Open Era, most recently by Williams in 2014.

Daniil Medvedev produced an incredible comeback to blitz defending champion Novak Djokovic and reach the Western & Southern Open.

Medvedev was a set down against the world number one and top seed, but he rallied to a stunning 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati on Saturday.

A finalist at the Citi Open and Rogers Cup, Russian ninth seed Medvedev will contest his third consecutive final, with David Goffin next up after the 16th seed beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4.

The first half was a clinic as Djokovic produced an almost flawless display, hitting nine winners and just three unforced errors, compared to Medvedev's 11.

Djokovic – who won 75 per cent of his second serves to Medvedev's 36 per cent – made the decisive breakthrough in the sixth game to move ahead 4-2 and the Serbian star never looked back, wrapping up the set in 34 minutes.

Medvedev continued to take the match to Djokovic in the second half, but the 16-time grand slam champion simply had all the answers against the Russian.

That was until Djokovic's serve was finally penetrated – Medvedev nailing a powerful forehand winner into the corner for a 5-3 lead.

It was the first sign of tension from Djokovic, who had been in control but saw his advantage wiped out by the aggressive Medvedev heading into a third and deciding set.

Djokovic was rattled, the match dramatically swinging in Medvedev's favour as he blitzed the Serbian with some incredible tennis to claim the break and a 2-1 lead.

Medvedev was simply irresistible, his ferocious serve stifling Djokovic and helping to complete a stunning comeback on the semis.

Earlier, Goffin surged into his first Masters 1000 final after outclassing veteran Gasquet in straight sets.

"I'm really happy," said Goffin. "It's a tournament I like and I've played the best tennis here in the past few years. I'm really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It's a great moment for me."

Roger Federer crashed out of the Western & Southern Open after a "perfect" performance from Andrey Rublev, while Novak Djokovic moved through.

Federer, a seven-time champion in Cincinnati, was stunned by Rublev in his first meeting with the 21-year-old Russian.

Djokovic, meanwhile, had no such troubles, keeping his title defence on track with a comfortable win over Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the quarter-finals.

 

FEDERER FALLS TO PERFECTION

Rublev, a qualifier at the ATP Masters 1000 event, stunned Federer 6-3 6-4 in just over an hour.

The Swiss 20-time grand slam champion praised Rublev, who converted three of four break points in his win.

"If I play Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, I know more or less what they are going to do or can do. That's different with a player you play for the first time," Federer said, via the ATP Tour website.

"It's maybe a small advantage to have over us, but regardless, you've still got to hit the corners, hit the lines, keep it going. He did exactly that. He was really perfect today. It was a great performance."

Rublev next meets fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev after the ninth seed thrashed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2 6-1.

DJOKOVIC DOMINATES

Djokovic made it eight straight wins at the tournament by brushing past Carreno Busta 6-3 6-4 in 90 minutes.

The Serbian controlled the first set before being tested in the second, but Carreno Busta failed to take his chances, losing to Djokovic for the third time in as many meetings.

Djokovic will face Lucas Pouille, who upset eighth seed Karen Khachanov 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2.

BAUTISTA AGUT, GOFFIN INTO LAST EIGHT

Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish 11th seed, needed just an hour to thrash Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2.

He will meet Richard Gasquet after the 33-year-old Frenchman proved too good for Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

The other quarter-final is between David Goffin and Yoshihito Nishioka after their wins over Adrian Mannarino and Alex de Minaur respectively.

Meanwhile, there will be a doubles showdown between the Murray brothers after Andy and Feliciano Lopez moved into the quarter-finals, where Jamie and Neal Skupski await.

Novak Djokovic continued his winning run at the Western & Southern Open, cruising past Pablo Carreno Busta in the last 16 on Thursday.

The world number one made it eight straight wins in Cincinnati by easing past Carreno Busta 6-3 6-4 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Djokovic was in control throughout against the Spaniard, maintaining his perfect record against Carreno Busta with a third win.

The defending champion and 16-time grand slam winner will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic won 12 straight points during the opening set, including breaking serve in the sixth game with a forehand pass at the net.

It was a clean first set from the Serbian star as he combined 13 winners with just five unforced errors.

Carreno Busta squandered opportunities early in the second set and he pulled a cross-court forehand wide to be broken in the third game.

Despite a much tighter set, that break was all Djokovic needed as he moved into the last eight.

Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start to see off Sam Querrey en route to the third around at the Western & Southern Open.

Djokovic – playing for the first time since winning Wimbledon – claimed a 7-5 6-1 victory over Querrey at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

While Djokovic made a brief appearance in the doubles on Monday, it was the world number one's first singles match after sealing his 16th grand slam title via the All England Club in July.

Djokovic struggled early in the humid conditions, recording three double faults after going big on second serves in the opening game as he was broken by Querrey.

Querrey came out with plenty of intent, taking the match to Djokovic, who fell behind 2-0 to the American.

It was far from Djokovic's best tennis, but the Serbian star broke back and eventually took out the set thanks to 14 winners.

There was plenty of emotion from Djokovic, who cruised in the second set thanks to a pair of breaks as he awaits Pablo Carreno Busta or John Isner in the last 16.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have joined fellow legend Novak Djokovic on the ATP player council.

Jamie Murray, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Robin Haase stepped down from the council following a meeting at the All England Club prior to Wimbledon.

Djokovic also acknowledged he considered joining the walkout but decided to stay on to try and resolve unfinished business.

The world number one will now be joined by fellow stars Federer and Nadal, who along with Jurgen Melzer, have replaced Stakhovsky, Murray and Haase.

"They will begin their roles with immediate effect and will serve until the end of the existing term which runs through to Wimbledon 2020," an ATP statement read.

"The position of coach representative, following the resignation of Daniel Vallverdu, is to be determined in due course."

World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup, opting for further rest after winning Wimbledon.

Djokovic, 32, claimed his 16th grand slam title and fifth Wimbledon crown with a thrilling win over Roger Federer in the final at the All England Club on July 14.

But, like the Swiss great, the Serbian star has decided not to compete at the Rogers Cup in Montreal beginning on August 5.

"I'm sorry to announce that I decided to pull out of Rogers Cup," four-time champion Djokovic said in a statement on Thursday.

"With the support of my team, I have decided to give my body longer rest and recovery time before coming back again to play.

"I love Canada and I have many friends there that always make me feel like I'm at home and I'm looking forward to coming back again to play in front of all of you in Montreal."

World number 12 Juan Martin del Potro has also withdrawn after undergoing surgery on his knee, having fractured his right kneecap at Queen's last month.

The withdrawals open up the tournament for defending champion Rafael Nadal, who will be eyeing a fifth Rogers Cup title.

Page 3 of 5
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.