Now 24-0 in 2020, US Open favourite Novak Djokovic takes on Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round on…
Now 24-0 in 2020, US Open favourite Novak Djokovic takes on Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round on Wednesday.
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Djokovic vs Edmund is live from New York on Wednesday 2 September, time TBC
Despite the quick turnaround from the ‘Cincinnati’ Masters to the US Open, top seed Novak Djokovic made short work of Damir Dzumhur to open his quest for a fourth major title in New York.
Next up for the Serb, he takes on Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund – a former Grand Slam semifinalist with a powerful forehand, who’s beaten Djokovic before but never taken a set from him on hard courts.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Djokovic vs Edmund: Head-to-head
Djokovic leads the head-to-head against Edmund 5-1, and has won all of their hard-court meetings in straight sets, including one at the US Open in 2016 which Djokovic won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
Edmund’s solitary victory came on clay at the Madrid Masters in 2018.
Djokovic vs Edmund: Preview
Djokovic is, quite obviously, the overwhelming favourite coming into this clash. Not only is he unbeaten in 2020, not to mention a three-time US Open champion, but Djokovic was in total control of his first-round match in New York despite the tight turnaround between the gruelling end of his Western & Southern Open campaign and the opener against Damir Dzumhur.
Against Dzumhur, Djokovic took the first set 6-1 in 24 minutes, and although things got a little more complicated in the second set – Djokovic surrendered an early break to be pegged back on serve for 2-2, then had to save three break points at 3-3 before failing to convert six break points at 3-4 – it was a fairly classic early-round match for Djokovic at a Grand Slam. The world no. 1 has perfected the art of playing well enough to get through in straight sets, conserving as much energy as possible, but not pushing himself too hard to play perfectly.
Although he had his slight lapses in the second set, he never really got anywhere near losing it, and dominated the third set almost as completely as he had done the first for a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win in an hour and 58 minutes.
Having remained unbeaten in both 2020 and US Open first-round matches, Djokovic’s next task should be a bit more challenging, if only because Kyle Edmund has two big weapons: A kick serve, and a powerful heavy forehand.
The combination of those two shots has got Edmund to a surprise Grand Slam semifinal before, at the Australian Open in 2014, and a career-high ranking of world no. 14 the same year. Injury played its part in a slide down the rankings through 2019, but the British player made a bright start to 2020, claiming his second career ATP title on indoor hard courts in New York and reaching quarterfinals in Auckland and Acapulco.
Edmund, who featured in both Battle of the Brits exhibition events organised by Jamie Murray during the shutdown, lost in three sets to Kevin Anderson at last week’s Western & Southern Open but had a decent win over Alexander Bublik in four sets in the first round at the US Open. Djokovic couldn’t be a more different opponent than Bublik, however.
Edmund has never taken a set from Djokovic on hard courts, and won only a handful of games in their previous US Open meeting, although that was a long time ago. The combination of Edmund’s serve and forehand can generally get him a set, if he plays very well, against Djokovic, but it’s very nearly impossible for Edmund to hit with enough accuracy and power for enough of a match – particularly a best-of-five sets match – to get the win. Edmund’s solitary win over Djokovic not only came on clay, but during a poor run of form for the Serb following elbow surgery. The only way to find any value on this match is to back it to be extremely short or surprisingly long, and the former seems more likely.