US Open 2019: Novak Djokovic eases through first round in straight sets


Novak Djokovic is bidding for a 17th Grand Slam title, having won four of the past five crowns
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app

World number one Novak Djokovic booked his place in the second round of the US Open with victory over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.

The Serb three-time champion won 6-4 6-1 6-4 to kick-off the defence of his title at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic has reached the final on his past three appearances in New York but was taken to four sets in his opening two rounds last year.

He faces Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero next.

Meanwhile, Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev took just 85 minutes to see off Indian world number 88 Prajnesh Gunneswaran with a routine 6-4 6-1 6-2 win.

The 23-year-old, who has reached three consecutive tour finals this year, will face Bolivian world number 84 Hugo Dellien in round two.

“I can’t say I’m feeling amazing about my game but to win by that score in the first round is great,” he said. “I hope I can continue to play well.”

Medvedev, who won the Cincinnati title earlier this month, is widely tipped as the man to put an end to Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s dominance.

“I always try to stay at the same time a little bit away [from such talk], because I always say at this moment of my career I haven’t even been in the quarters of a Slam yet,” he said.

“So that’s the first step to make, and if I make this step, then I can talk about bigger goals and bigger achievements.”

Elsewhere, Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori raced into the second round when he took a 6-1 4-1 lead before Argentine opponent Marco Trungelliti, 29, retired with a back problem.

“It’s a little bit sad to see. He’s a great player,” said Nishikori, who faces 108th-ranked American Bradley Klahn in the next round.

“I played great tennis from the beginning and I’m happy with the way I played. But honestly, I wanted to play a little more because I was feeling good on the court and I wanted to get a little more confidence.”

Belgian 15th seed David Goffin overcame Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0 and will take on Cameron Norrie’s conqueror, Gregoire Barrere in round two.

Swiss 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka reached the second round with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3 win over Italian Jannik Sinner. The 23rd seed will face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy next.

American 16-year-old Zach Svajda, who received a wild card into the main draw, took Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi, 37, to the wire in a thrilling 3-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 defeat.

World number 136 Lorenzi, called up as a lucky loser after former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson pulled out with a knee injury on Saturday, takes on Serbian teenager Miomir Kecmanovic next.

But Italian 11th seed Fabio Fognini lost 6-3 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to American 21-year-old Reilly Opelka, who will face German qualifier Dominik Koepfer in the next round.