Remember when Novak Djokovic was struggling in his return to North America and the hard courts?
Yeah, neither does Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The World No. 1 Djokovic, who appeared to suffer from a lack of focus—he was recently married and is expecting a child—in early defeats at Cincinnati and Toronto, continued his dominance at the 2014 U.S. Open Monday afternoon, disposing of No. 22 Kohlschreiber, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.
The U.S. Open Twitter feed shared the win, while Craig O'Shannessy of BrainGameTennis.com caught some of Djokovic's post-match dance moves:
Afterwards, he took to Twitter to discuss the win:
Djoker had everything working on Labor Day. He won 78 percent of first serves, faced just two break points and took advantage of Kohlschreiber, who struggled to get his first serve in. He was hitting both his forehand and backhand with heat-seeking-missile precision, finishing with 34 winners and just 19 unforced errors.
The first set lasted a mere 25 minutes, and it still somehow felt shorter. Djokovic jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a couple of breaks and easy service games, ultimately winning 6-1.
O'Shannessy provided a glimpse of what most points looked like:
Kohlschreiber seemed to wake up after that, as the second set was much more even. Neither player was able to break through the first 10 games, as each continued to answer the another with gorgeous shots.
The underdog had a golden opportunity to take the set, as Djokovic faced his first break point of the match down 4-5, but then this happened:
ChangeoverTennis.com's Juan Jose Vallejo put it simply:
And that's why Djokovic's backhand will be remembered as one of the best in history. What a sublime angled backhand winner on game point.— Juan José Vallejo (@juanjosetennis) September 1, 2014
Kohlschreiber wasn't going to be able to recover from that, as he was immediately broken in the next game, sealing the back-and-forth set for Djokovic, and broken once again at the start of the third set. He then rolled, holding serve to complete the victory.
How far will Djokovic advance?
Djokovic faces an extremely difficult draw. He will play the winner of Andy Murray vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters, then potentially either Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka or hard-serving Milos Raonic in the semis.
But with the way he's playing, there's no one in the world who will be able to stop the Serb from reaching the final at Flushing Meadows for the fifth straight year.