NOVAK DJOKOVIC eased into the last-16 of the US Open with a straight sets win over Richard Gasquet.
The Serb had not been at his best in the first two matches of the competition but was impressive against the Flamboyant Frenchman.
Novak Djokovic impressed in a straight sets victory over Richard Gasquet[/caption]
Djokovic, the sixth-seed, needed four sets to despatch his first two opponents, struggling especially in the opening round against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in searing daytime temperatures at the start of the week.
However, the Wimbledon champion started brightly under the floodlights at Arthur Ashe Stadium against the 26th seed and never looked back, sealing a comfortable triumph in two hours and 11 minutes.
He won 75 per cent of his first serves, struck 32 winners and saved each of the five break points he faced as the 32-year-old Gasquet’s game collapsed under the weight of his 47 unforced errors.
The win marked the 13th time Djokovic had beaten Gasquet in 14 meetings, with the Serb winning his last 11 matches against the Frenchman.
Djokovic had struggled earlier at the US Open but was close to his best against the Frenchman[/caption]
“It was a great match from the beginning to the end… It was a real night session match at the US Open,” Djokovic said in a courtside interview.
Victory keeps the 13-times Grand Slam champion on track for a potential quarter-final showdown against second seed Roger Federer, who saw off Nick Kyrgios in straight sets earlier in the day.
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Next up for the Serb, however, is a last-16 clash with unseeded Portuguese Joao Sousa.
“He’s a fighter, he’s a grinder,” Djokovic said. “He will not hand you the victory, you’ve got to earn it.
“I’m really glad I didn’t spend too much time on the court tonight.
“I’m going to get some rest and move on to the next one.”