Novak Djokovic crushed Jan-Lennard Struff in ‘Cincinnati’ last week – can the German make it more challenging for the top…
Novak Djokovic crushed Jan-Lennard Struff in ‘Cincinnati’ last week – can the German make it more challenging for the top seed at the US Open?
Novak Djokovic vs Jan-Lennard Struff | US Open men's singles R3 | 4/9/2020Under 28.5 games 2.08 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Djokovic vs Struff is live from New York on Friday 4 September, time TBC
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic dropped his first set of the US Open against Kyle Edmund on Wednesday, but finished the match strongly and the way he rose above that challenge will only underline his status as overwhelming favourite to win this major.
Big-serving Jan-Lennard Struff has been playing some of the best tennis of his career over the past 18 months and took a set from Djokovic at the Australian Open in January, but is 0-4 overall against the Serb.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Djokovic vs Struff: Head-to-head
Djokovic is 4-0 against Struff, and 11-10 in sets. Struff won the third set when the two faced off in the first round of the Australian Open in January, but otherwise his matches against Djokovic have been one-sided.
Djokovic beat Struff 6-3, 6-1 when they met at the ‘Cincinnati’-New York Masters just over a week ago.
Djokovic vs Struff: Preview
Novak Djokovic may have dropped a set against Kyle Edmund in his second-round clash at the US Open, but don’t let that deceive you into thinking he’s any less the favourite for the title; the last five Grand Slams Djokovic has won have seen him drop a set at some point during the first three rounds.
It was Edmund who took that set at Wimbledon two years ago, and their clash on Wednesday followed much the same pattern: The British player played an excellent first set, getting every ounce possible out of his big serve and heavy forehand, but was unable to maintain that kind of accuracy and intensity for more than a set and Djokovic smoothly took control from early in the second set onwards. Each set became less competitive until Djokovic wrapped things up after three hours and 17 minutes, having struck 16 aces for three double faults, hit 52 winners for 34 unforced errors and won 75% of his service points overall during the 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
All in all Djokovic has to be feeling pretty good about how his US Open campaign is professing. The neck pain and stomach issues which affected him at the ‘Cincinnati’-New York Masters – but did not stop him from winning it – seem to be in the past, and the adjustment back to best-of-five sets tennis so shortly after ending a six-month spell off the court looks to be progressing about as smoothly as could possibly have been expected.
If there is to be a bump in the road, I’m not sure it’s going to be Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round. Struff is at a career-high ranking of world no. 29 right now, reflecting the career-best tennis he’s played over the past 18 months, capped by reaching the quarterfinals in ‘Cincinnati’ last week courtesy of wins over Alex de Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin. The big-serving German has won six of the 14 matches he’s played against top-10 players in the past 18 months, but he hasn’t come close to beating Djokovic in any of their four previous meetings. A player with a big serve which Djokovic nevertheless has no particular trouble neutralising, being the exceptional returner that he is, and who isn’t built for long rallies is not going to beat Djokovic. Over the course of three sets, you would expect Struff to get more than three games in a set, which he didn’t manage last week; but the outcome certainly looks like a straightforward victory for Djokovic.