US Open - Novak Djokovic eases into round two

World number one Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat as he dispatched Brazil's Joao Souza for the loss of just three games in the first round of the US Open.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is gunning for his third grand slam title of the year after triumphs at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and the Serb put on a dominant opening display in New York to win 6-1 6-1 6-1.

The victory took just one hour and 11 minutes to complete, with Djokovic now up against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer in round two.

Djokovic arrived in Flushing Meadows with some question marks hanging over his form following defeats in consecutive weeks to Andy Murray in Montreal and Roger Federer in Cincinnati.

The top seed, however, often saves his best for the heat of a grand slam and he never had to leave first gear against Souza, who is ranked 91st in the world and looked out of his depth from the start.

Seven breaks of serve and 24 winners ensured Djokovic moved safely into the second round on a day which also saw his 2014 conqueror Kei Nishikori crash out.

Nishikori beat Djokovic in the semi-finals 12 months ago and the pair had been due to meet again in the last four, but the Japanese fell at the first hurdle in a five-set defeat to France's Benoit Paire.

"I couldn't ask for a better opening of this year's US Open," said Djokovic.

"A dominant win like the one today, it adds to your confidence, your self-belief. But it's also making a statement for everybody that is out there watching.

"We are all watching each other's matches. It's important you're out on the court with the right intensity and you're sending a good message, and I've done so."

Defending champion Marin Cilic will now look to take advantage of Nishikori's absence in that section of the draw.

He has struggled to beat the world's best since winning in New York 12 months ago. However, his title defence got off to a strong start on Monday when he posted a 6-3 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/3) win over Argentina's Guido Pella.

David Ferrer is also in the second quarter and he recovered from losing the first set to defeat Radu Albot in what was his first match since before Wimbledon.

Ferrer has been suffering with an elbow injury but once he had shaken off the rust and levelled the contest, the Spaniard pulled away to win 4-6 7-5 6-1 6-0.

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