Djokovic makes quick work of Benneteau
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 5:35a.m.
By Eddie Pells
Novak Djokovic woke up early and got things over with in a hurry Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Serving as the warm-up act for Andy Roddick in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the defending champion completed his second straight match without facing a break point and defeated No. 31 Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round for the sixth straight year.
Djokovic needed only 1 hour, 37 minutes to clear out of the stadium, where Roddick was the headliner on Sunday's schedule.
Last week, the 2003 champion announced he would retire after the U.S. Open. He followed Djokovic onto the court for a third-round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini.
Roddick could only hope he'd be in for as easy a time as Djokovic had. The No. 2 seed from Serbia faced a break point in the opening game of the tournament, against Paolo Lorenzi. Djokovic lost that point and hasn't faced one since.
"Obviously, the serve is something I've wanted to improve the last 15 months or so," Djokovic says. "I wanted to get more free points on the first serve. Today, it was working very well."
Djokovic finished with 13 aces with a top service speed of 128 mph. He says he's not so used to the early wake-up calls at the season's last major, where he has made the final the last two years and is more used to playing in prime time. To make sure he wouldn't be late for the third-round match, he shaved the night before and had a bit of stubble jutting from his chin by the early afternoon.
"I'm not always the morning person, to be honest," Djokovic says. "You try to go to bed early and try to wake up early and get your body moving obviously. I wanted to start very sharp from the first point, and I've done that."
Djokovic's entire match took only 23 minutes longer than the first set between No. 4 David Ferrer and 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt in Armstrong Stadium. Ferrer saved five set points in the first-set tiebreaker then went on for a 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory to advance to the fourth round in his 10th straight Grand Slam tournament.
Playing later Sunday were No. 3 Maria Sharapova, who has an evening match against No. 19 Nadia Petrova, and 18-year-old Laura Robson of Britain, who had an evening match against defending champion Samantah Stosur.
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