Djokovic caps perfect day for centre court seeds

Fri Sep 3, 2010 12:41am EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic capped a perfect Thursday for the favorites at the U.S. Open with an entertaining victory over Germany's Philipp Petzschner to reach the third round of the year's final grand slam.

Third-seeded Djokovic closed out an irresistible display by the seeds with a lively 7-5 6-3 7-6 win under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Serb's victory marked the fifth successive straight-sets win for seeded players on center court, although he was forced to work harder than his predecessors against a spirited opponent armed with a formidable serve.

The keenly contested encounter was 12 games old before Djokovic managed the first service break, taking a lot of energy out of both players and leading to an unusual third set tiebreak where seven points in a row were won against serve.

Djokovic squandered two match points, double-faulting on the first when serving at 6-4 and then hitting a forehand into the net on the second.

The 52nd-ranked Petzschner, who teamed with Austrian Jurgen Melzer to win this year's Wimbledon doubles title, sailed a second serve return long to end the two-hour 23-minute match.

"He's a very good player, you have to give him credit," Djokovic said. "He serves well. He was changing up the pace and not giving me any rhythm. I was just fortunate to hold on.

"It was very shaky at the end of the match but I was just fortunate to hold on."   Continued...

 
<p>Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches out to return a backhand to Philipp Petzschner of Germany during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine</p>