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US Open: Djokovic battles humidity to go past Fucsovics; Bhambri bows out

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The heat and humidity at the Flushing Meadows got the better of Novak Djokovic for a while but the Serbian staged a recovery and went on to defeat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the first round of the US Open at the Flushing Meadows on Wednesday. Djokovic, who has a 14th Grand Slam title in mind secured a 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0 win over the Hungarian.

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For the first time ever, the US Open officials had to implement extreme heat policy in the men’s matches. Djokovic and Fucsovics took ice baths after battling each other for over two hours as the humidity levels were above 50%, that continued to be a concern for the players. Both Fucsovics and the Serbian needed multiple ice-towels.

Said Djokovic, as quoted by BBC, “We obviously both struggled. You could see that. Towards the end of the third, we started to play a bit better, at least from my side.”

“Before that, it was survival mode,” he further added.

After the second set, Fucsovics showed signs of weariness as the 31-year old Serbian secured victories in the last 10 games. Djokovic, who won the Wimbledon this year by beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson will next go up against Tennys Sandgren in the second round.

The 2011 and 2015 US Open champion, who struggled with the heat thanked the US Open officials for allowing them a break after the third set.

I was praying that I got to feel better because I wasn’t feeling great for most of the first three sets,” said Djokovic.

“I want to thank the US Open for allowing us to have a 10-minute break after the third set. We both needed it.”

Bhambri bows out, yet again

The failure to go past the first round hurdle of a Grand Slam continued to haunt Yuki Bhambri as he failed to go past France’s Pierre Hugues Herbert, thus crashing out in straight sets 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 5-7.

Bhambri, who is India’s top-ranked player showed signs of a fightback in the second and third sets but that wasn’t enough for him to topple the Frenchman, in a two-and-half-hour match. Herbert, world no 75 had earlier defeated Bhambri at the Maharashtra Open.

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