Sixth seed and two-time US Open champion Novak Djokovic survived a huge scare in his opening round match at Flushing Meadows, with the Serbian battling through uncomfortable conditions to beat Marton Fucsovics.
Djokovic has notably struggled in hot and humid conditions in the past, and that proved to be the case today in an incredibly uncomfortable day in New York. At one stage, it looked as if Fucsovics, who was handling the conditions better, could potentially cause an upset in this encounter.
However, as he has done so often, the Serbian fought back, and eventually prevailed in four sets on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 in just under three hours.
Djokovic pulls through tough conditions to down Fucsovics
It was the two-time champion who got off to a fast start, breaking early on and taking a 3-0 lead in the opening stages. Fucsovics was able to get on the board afterwards and work his way into the set, though Djokovic faced little trouble on serve as he took the first set comfortably.
Djokovic was certainly in control of the match and he had some chances to break early on in the second, though was starting to struggle in the stifling conditions and the Hungarian took advantage. Fucsovics broke for the first time in the match to take a 4-2 lead, and held on impressively to claim the second set.
Both men missed early break chances in the third, though the Hungarian eventually broke for a 2-1 lead and had chances to secure a double break, though crucially missed them. Down 2-4, Djokovic managed to fight through his struggles with the conditions, and took the next four games as he edged the third set.
A heat rule break allowed both to have a break before the fourth set, though on resumption it was clearly the sixth seed who had benefited the most. Djokovic was playing some of his best tennis of the match, and raced through the final set without dropping a game to seal a hard-fought victory.
Djokovic will next face Tennys Sandgren as he looks to win his second Grand Slam title of the year.