Brooksby didn't want to give a quarter-final free pass to Novak
World's number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, was once again heavily tested in his quest to reach the calendar Grand Slam, the first time since 1969.
Serbian Novak Djokovic's remains on track after beating young Jenson Brooksby 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in a wearying US Open match-up.
The anonymous American qualifier and world number 99 Brooksby had the crowd on their feet after an incredible opening set against Djokovic in Monday's last-16 clash at Flushing Meadows.
Nevertheless, Djokovic – bidding to become only the third man to win all four slams in the same year and becoming first since Rod Laver in 1969 – responded to the challenge, showcasing his superior physicality as the three-time US Open champion rallied into the quarter-finals in New York.
Brooksby was making his first appearance on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the 20-year-old was looking to become the lowest-ranked player to beat a number one at the US Open since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973 and youngest American man since Andy Roddick (2003 Wimbledon) to reach a major quarter-final.
He was not overawed on the big stage, blitzing Djokovic in a remarkable first set. Playing with a bounce in his step and bringing the crowd to its feet, Brooksby only hit one unforced error in a dominant 29-minute display, which included two breaks of serve.
Djokovic was 38-34 at grand slams when losing the opening set and 12-10 at Flushing Meadows and after an error-filled opener, the Serb star let out an almighty roar after racing out to a 3-0 lead.
Just as Djokovic – level on 20 men's slams with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – looked comfortable, he endured a marathon 20-minute fifth game against Brooksby.
Brooksby broke at the sixth time of asking and the breath-taking tennis continued as Djokovic broke straight back to reclaim his advantage at 4-2 – the latter ending the game with an intense stare down in the direction of his opponent.
After a gruelling second set to level the match, the third followed a similar pattern, with Djokovic breaking in the opening game before moving 3-0 ahead.
Djokovic did not relinquish that lead, hitting 13 winners while claiming 11 of his 13 points at the net as he took the match to Brooksby.
Brooksby put up a huge fight but, he was unable to maintain his charge as the crowd went silent – Djokovic looking ahead to a last-eight showdown with sixth seed Matteo Berrettini in a rematch of the Wimbledon final.
Data slam: Djokovic flawless against locals in New York
With his hard-fought victory, which lasted almost three hours, Djokovic improved to 11-0 against Americans at the US Open. He is 29-3 at major events and 70-10 in ATP Tour-level matches. The 34-year-old is on a 21-match winning streak against players from the United States since Sam Querrey snapped his 30-match slam streak at Wimbledon in 2016.
Djokovic – 44/41
Brooksby – 27/28
Djokovic – 9/1
Brooksby – 4/1
BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/12
Brooksby – 3/11
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