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U.S. Open Tennis: Will Novak Djokovic Continue His Preliminary Round Cruise?

From Bleacher Report – Tennis

After the initial rounds at Flushing Meadows, Novak Djokovic has been playing great tennis, but his best performances are yet to come.

He has proven this in the prior grand slams by winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He also reached the the French Open semifinal.

In the fourth round, he will be facing Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov. Dolgopolov hasn’t had the easiest victories in the first few rounds, having four five-set victories against the likes of Ivo Karlovic and Flavio Cipolla. He had one straight-set win against Frederico Gil in his opening match. I am positive that this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the sensational Serb.

Djokovic will have to raise his game because the risk of getting eliminated only increases as the tournament progresses. I mean, he played well against Nikolay Davydenko, but he made some unforced errors that could have easily been avoided.

In the Wimbledon final, I didn’t see him make as many careless mistakes as he did in that third round match. I understand that he was playing Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, but he still needs to play every match as if it’s his last if he wishes to maintain his number one ranking.

Dolgopolov has an unorthodox playing style, but it is an all-court form of tennis. In this imperial match, Dolgopolov will need to utilize his serve, with Djokovic having the best return in the game. The Ukrainian will need to mix up his serve if he is to hold serve with ease. He hasn’t had the easiest matches early on, and this match will put the cherry on the cake in terms of match difficulty.

Dolgopolov would have to work extremely, extremely hard if he is to salvage something from the match. I mean, he is playing the world No. 1. I doubt he will win this match, but who knows, upsets can be lurking just around any corner.

Holding serve will be crucial for both players if they are to do well. I am positive that it won’t be much of a challenge for Novak Djokovic, as he already has a great serve and his groundstrokes are always reliable. Dolgopolov will need to make use of his one-handed backhand slice. It’s one of his reliable shots, so he’ll need to utilize that shot. Honestly, I think Djokovic will have one- to two-minute service games because his presence is just so dominant. Dolgopolov will have a hard time keeping up with the Serb’s pace.

Novak will have an easy time producing break points with his array of trickery, while Dolgopolov will have to work extra hard to score points while Djokovic serves. This will be the hardest match of his tennis career. Breaking will be a very hard job for the Ukrainian. He might be somewhat of a speedster, but Novak’s sensational forehand and backhand will probably be a bit too overwhelming for Dolgopolov. Djokovic will need to watch out for the Ukrainian’s net approaches, as he can be quite effective at the net, and his speed only adds to his efficiency. 

This fourth round match will probably be nothing close to a challenge for Novak, while Alexandr Dolgopolov should expect the worst, but play the best tennis of his life. I predict that Djokovic will demolish Dolgopolov in a three-set slaughter.

Who do you think will advance to the round of 16? How many sets will this match turn out to be?

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