Djokovic sees off Gasquet in US Open masterclass
Novak Djokovic was a class above on Arthur Ashe Stadium, continuing his quest for a third US Open crown with a 6-2 6-3 6-3 victory.
Novak Djokovic produced the most convincing display of his US Open campaign as the former world number one outclassed Richard Gasquet en route to the last 16. Djokovic struggled in the New York heat at the start of the week, while the 13-time grand slam champion was unhappy with his performance against Tennys Sandgren in round two.
But the Serbian sixth seed was a class above at Arthur Ashe Stadium, continuing his quest for a third US Open crown with a 6-2 6-3 6-3 victory at Flushing Meadows on Saturday. Gasquet stepped on to the court with bleached blonde hair but it did little to stop the rot against Djokovic, who made it 11 successive wins over the Frenchman since going down at the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
It was not an easy start for Djokovic as the Wimbledon champion fended off a pair of break points in a marathon opening game lasting almost 10 minutes. Gasquet had not been broken in New York prior to the clash but he eventually dropped serve in the fourth game, having dug deep to save three in the second.
Djokovic took control from that moment, the rejuvenated star in the zone as he hit 16 winners to just four in the first set – though Gasquet provided a highlight when he chased down a drop shot and found the inside of the line in a stunning sequence of tennis. It was more of the same from Djokovic, who continued to suffocate Gasquet by breaking to love in the first game of the second set, and it was a break the 31-year-old never relinquished.
With his back against the wall, Gasquet refused to surrender – giving fans plenty to cheer about under the Arthur Ashe lights with some drop shots and unstoppable backhands as he saved a pair of match points, however, Djokovic's defence was impenetrable and remarkable as he set up a last-16 clash with João Sousa.