World number one and Western and Southern Open top seed Novak Djokovic eased into the last eight of this year’s edition of the tournament in New York with a straightforward win over wildcard Tennys Sandgren.
Ranked 55th, Sandgren came into this match full of confidence after an impressive win over Felix Auger-Aliassime and may have been buoyed by a respectable four set showing against the Serbian at the US Open two years ago. However, the American could not get close to the world number one today, with Djokovic sealing a 6-2, 6-4 win in just an hour and 28 minutes.
Djokovic took control of the match from the very beginning, breaking Sandgren in the opening game and consolidating for a 2-0 lead. The American was able to get on the board and settle any nerves with a couple of good service holds though Djokovic was looking imperious, and calmly broke for the second time in the seventh game to lead 5-2. For the first time the top seed faced a little pressure, having to save a break point and missing his first two set points, though it proved to be third time lucky as he took the opener after just over half an hour.
The second set had a familiar feeling early on, with Djokovic once again breaking in the opening game and consolidating for a 2-0 lead. Sandgren steadied his serve after that and had three break point opportunities in the eighth game to level up but could not take advantage, with the top seed saving them all superbly to build a commanding 5-3 lead. Djokovic failed to take five match points at 5-3 up, though took a sixth when serving out the match to seal a comfortable victory.
The 2018 Western and Southern Open champion had looked rusty and had struggles on serve in his opening match against Ricardas Berankis though was much more convincing today, not dropping serve once and taking control of the encounter from the very opening stages. Djokovic will be a sizable favorite for his quarterfinal against Jan-Lennard Struff, and after today’s performance he will certainly have reaffirmed his position as the favorite to take the title.