Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic opened defense of his U.S. Open title with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Roberto Carballes Baena on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Serbian improved to 14-0 in first round matches at Flushing Meadows as he seeks his 17th major title. Djokovic will next face Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round.
Djokovic begins title defense with straightforward win
Djokovic and Carballes Baena had never met before and it took the Serb some time to feel out his opponent. After holding to 30 to open the match, he wasted three break point chances in a 16-point second game.
Neither man would be threatened on serve again until the eighth game when the Spaniard dug out of a 15-40 hole to level the score at 4-4. Serving to stay in the first set at 4-5, Carballes Baena saw Djokovic set up two set points with a backhand volley winner.
The top seed converted on his first chance and proceeded to serve out the set. The second set went decisively in Djokovic's favor as he held his four service games with the loss of one point combined. Carballes Baena continued to battle, but in the second and sixth games, he was broken after saving the first break point of each game, but not the second.
The third set continued to showcase the world number 77's fight as he forced Djokovic to holds of 30 in each of his first two service games, but again the defending champion gained the advantage, breaking in the fifth game. Although Carballes Baena would hang tough, Djokovic was never threatened and served for the match at 5-4, where a trio of forehand winners sealed an ideal start for the world number one.