ATP Tennis – US Open presented by Microsoft – Part 2
Djokovic vs. Novakovic is an epic encounter in a game that some will consider to be the best ever played. Both players are talented, experienced and accomplished at their jobs, which makes this one of the most interesting matches in years. The first few games saw both players at their defensive mastery, each player keeping the other’s serve off balance the entire time. Djokovic broke open the attack, winning six consecutive games in a row, but then lost to Kiyotaki in the semis. He made up for it in the final set, but could not continue on his momentum, as Kiyotaki easily took the set away. Once again, Djokovic looked lost in the process, not able to close out the set, allowing Kiyotaki to seal the deal in a decisive five-set match.
After the stunning loss to Kiyotaki, Djokovic seemed to take the loss badly, even mentioning about how he felt a lack of confidence after the set win. This prompted Kiyotaki to make a change in the starting lineup, moving Djokovic to the back. Djokovic responded by quickly getting to work on his footwork, showing great improvement from his game against Kiyotaki.
With five games remaining in the grand slams, Djokovic once again finds himself one up on his opponent. This time it’s a game against Serena Williams, the world number one player who many consider to be the best player in the game today. Djokovic continues to dominate the ball, using his backhand and forehand to great effect to put Williams away in the first set. With the set nearing the final set, it appears as if Djokovic might go on a run, securing the win in the end. But with time running out, Serena Williams breaks loose, beating Djokovic again in the first set.
It was a let down by Djokovic on this set. He seemed to have lost some of his confidence after losing the previous set to Williams. After serving for the first time in the match, Djokovic returns to break Serena Williams again, but this time he does not get the same kind of response. Serena hits a nice forehand return, while Djokovic returns a short serve. The two continue to play until the end, when Djokovic breaks Serena again, allowing him to take the set.
After this set, Serena seems to be on the ropes. She misses a volley to break Djokovic in the next set, then goes on to drop the set 3-4. Djokovic comes right back to get the set over Williams, but falls to end the game shortly after.
This set is one that will go down as a thriller. Djokovic had some trouble breaking Serena earlier in the set, but with consistent serve and forehand serve techniques, he was able to hold on and take the set. Both players stayed in the middle of the court most of the time, with Djokovic sometimes going to the outside for a serve from behind the net. When Serena served the ball out in the open, Djokovic usually made the return. This allowed him to maintain control during the first half of the set, but as the half went on it became more difficult for him to control the server because she was able to hit some quick shots off the bounce.
In the second set, Serena started to change up her serve up until Djokovic could not find an opening against the American player. After working on their backhand and forehand game, Djokovic finally broke Serena again to take the set. Serena was not happy with how this set ended, saying that Djokovic just had too much power on his serve. This set ended in a draw.
At the end of the day, both players had a good game going. Djokovic especially stepped up his game and produced several winners. However, it seemed like fatigue set in after the first set. Djokovic and Serena were unable to continue their excellent match up until the final set. Djokovic secured the win in the last set and it was headed to a Grand Slam final against either Wimbledon winner Roger Federer or defending champion Miami Heat’s Shaquille O’Neal. Serena will face the most formidable opponent of her career in the All-Star game, but this talented youngster has a lot to prove in the eyes of the world while he competes for the U.S. National Team.