U.S. Open: Novak Djokovic wins easy opener; Donald Young too
Novak Djokovic, owner of a 58-2 record this year, was able to get in and out of the first round of the U.S. Open on Tuesday with little trouble. His Irish opponent, Conor Niland, was ill with food poisoning and the precision shots of top-seeded Djokovic did not make Niland feel any better.
After losing 11 of 12 games, Niland bent over and then shook his head and Djokovic's hand and retired, a 6-0, 5-1 loser. Djokovic spent only 44 minutes on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, a circumstance that did not bother the world's No. 1.
"I don't think I'm lacking any time on the court or matches. This year has been a very long year. So I really don't mind that I spend less time on the court," the 24-year-old Djokovic said.
"I think I played well for these  minutes that we had.... I felt great on the court and that's something that's really important for the start of the tournament."
Djokovic had withdrawn from the final of the last tournament he played before the Open, complaining of a sore shoulder. "After that," Djokovic said, "I took some time off and I did everything in order to recover. Today I didn't feel any pain. I served well and I played well so I have no concern."
Young had lost in the first round here the past three years, a trend he said was troubling. "This is my favorite event," he said. Young said he arrived here with more confidence after he advanced this summer to his first ATP Tour-level semifinal, in Washington, D.C.
"To win four matches at that level was great," Young said. "It made me really feel like after all this time that I really belonged and could beat the guys on a consistent basis."
Young will likely get a much tougher test in the second round when he meets 14th-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland.
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York
Photo: Novak Djokovic returns a shot during his first-round match against Conor Niland at the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Credit: Susan Mullane / U.S. Presswire