US Open: Nole fights off Seppi challenge, reaches last 16

Nole u osmini finala US Opena

2011 champion Novak Djokovic reached the US Open fourth round on Friday, edging 25th seed Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 28 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Novak, who hadn’t faced a break point in the first two rounds, lost two service games in R3, including when he first served for the match.

Seppi surprised the top-seeded Serb by becoming the first man to break him in New York this year, but Djokovic responded immediately and secured the first set in 40 minutes.

Games went with serve in the second set until Novak finally broke his rival in the 11th game and held to win it.

The world no.1 hit a double fault to drop serve while serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but regained his composure to take the next two games and reach the last 16. He is now 11-0 against the Italian.

“I didn’t want to get into a fourth set. Didn’t close out the match at 5-4. He played a very good game. Got a little bit tight. Match could have gone either way,“ Novak said. “Again, I was focused in the right moments. I came up with some big serves, but generally it was a really tough three sets. Just glad to get through this one.“

Match statistics: aces (11-5), double faults (3-3), winners (37-38), unforced errors (31-34), total points won (107-93).

For a place in the quarter-finals, Djokovic will meet 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut (2-0 H2H) on Sunday at 19:00 local time (01:00 CET Mon.). The Spaniard advanced when no.14 seed David Goffin retired in the 4th set (2-6, 5-7, 6-3, 3-1).

Photo: Getty Images

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