World number one Novak Djokovic began his title defence at the US Open on a winning note as he eased past Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain in straight sets in the opening round of the tournament at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
The Serbian tennis maestro hardly broke a sweat against his Spanish opponent Baena to seal a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win in a one-sided first-round clash that lasted 48 minutes.
Following the win, Djokovic was quite satisfied with his performance and looking forward to the second round.
“It’s great to be back. I’m grateful that at this stage of my life and career… I’m still competing at a Grand Slam. We sometimes have to remind ourselves of these blessings. I’m quite pleased with my performance and looking forward to the next round," the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) quoted the top-ranked player as saying.
“It’s not the first time for me to be in the second round of a Slam. I know what I need to do to keep going," he added.
Djokovic, who has not lost before the semi-finals at the US Open in his last 11 appearances, will next lock horns with Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina. Londero bounced back from the first set down to seal a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3), 7-5 triumph over American Sam Querrey and book his place in the second round.
The world number one is bidding to clinch his fourth title at Flushing Meadows after having sealed victories in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
In another men's singles event, 23rd-seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland bounced back from a third set down to seal a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Jannik Sinner of Italy in the opening round of the tournament. Wawrinka will next face Jeremy Chardy of France in the second round of the tournament.