Top-seed Novak Djokovic had to fight through the longest tiebreak of his career on Monday to begin the second week of the US Open by overcoming his opponent and a testing wind into the quarterfinals.
The Serb overcame former tennis tyke Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine, who grew up on the ATP as the child of a coach, 7-6 (16-14), 6-4, 6-2.
Djokovic will next play Davis Cup teammate Janko Tipsarevic after the Serb put out Spanish veteran Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-2.
Djokovic admitted that the huge first set tiebreaker determined the outcome of his match.
“It took nearly half an hour, it was very important to win it. It had to be the longest tiebreak I’ve ever played and it was a turning point,” he said. “After winning that one, there was a better performance from my side.” Djokovkic admitted that he was jittery as he played on the minor showcase Armstrong court for the first time in years.
“The wind made for tricky condition. My opponent knows how to play well in those conditions,” he said. “I was a bit confused on the court at the start by his game.” Djokovic finished with 13 winners in the demanding contest. He and Tipsarevic are good friends off the court.
“At least one Serb will be in the semis, which is great for our country,” said Djokovic. “I’ve never played Janko in a Grand Slam.