Preview & Schedule: Djokovic, Federer Highlight Day 3 Play
Top seed and defending Novak Djokovic is undefeated in US Open second-round matches (13-0), but Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero will look to change that on Wednesday in New York. Third seed and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer, fifth seed Daniil Medvedev and seventh seed Kei Nishikori also headline a busy Day 3 schedule.
Londero won his first ATP Tour title this February in Cordoba (d. Garin), but his recent Top 30 win over Matteo Berrettini at the Western & Southern Open showed he can excel on all surfaces. However, the World No. 1 from Serbia is a much taller order, particularly at Grand Slams. Djokovic is 51-2 in second-round matches at Grand Slams since the 2006 Australian Open and has won 34 of his past 35 matches at majors.
Djokovic also has history on his mind this fortnight. He’s aiming for his 17th Grand Slam crown, which would put him within one title of second-placed Nadal (18) and inching closer to all-time leader Federer (20).
“It's still a very long way ahead of me. It does also put a certain level of responsibility to me as well because I am aiming to do that. It’s definitely one of my ambitions and goals,” said Djokovic. “I am 32, so things are a little bit different than they were 10 years ago, but I still feel young inside and outside. I am still very motivated to keep going.”
Federer continues his 19th US Open campaign against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. The Swiss is also undefeated (18-0) in second-round matches in New York, but being stretched to four sets by Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal in his opening round on Monday showed that his opponents believe records are meant to be broken. Federer will take comfort in his 2-0 lead over Dzumhur in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, dropping just 16 games in the six sets they’ve played.
“This is probably the best I've felt in years coming into the US Open again, which is encouraging,” said Federer. “It's going to be a tough tournament to win, no doubt about it. I feel like I'm part of that group who can do it.”
Medvedev looks to continue his top-form against Bolivian Hugo Dellien. The Russian is coming off the best three-week run of his career, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati (d. Goffin) and finishing runner-up at the Coupe Rogers (l. to Nadal) and Citi Open (l. to Kyrgios). Although Medvedev downplayed himself as a favourite to win this year, pointing out that he’s never reached a Grand Slam quarter-final, that could change if he keeps up his current level.
“These [past] three weeks, I basically didn't have any downs. I had only great matches,” said Medvedev. “Hopefully I can bring this confidence on the court for two weeks or more.”
Nishikori takes on American Bradley Klahn, who looks to reach the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Japanese spent only 47 minutes on court in his opening round on Monday before Argentine Marco Trungelliti retired due to injury, which could aid in keeping him fresh as the tournament progresses. But after opening-round exits in Montreal and Cincinnati, the seventh seed will be seeking a full match and a tough test against Klahn to gauge his level.
Other notable second-round matches on Wednesday include former US Open champion and No. 23 seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland taking on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, No. 12 seed Borna Coric of Croatia facing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 15 seed David Goffin of Belgium squaring off with Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.
ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, 28 August 2019
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