“It’s a match for me that I’ve got nothing to lose,” Britain’s Kyle Edmund has set his sights on ending Novak Djokovic’s winning streak when they meet in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.
Edmund recovered from a set down to sink Alexander Bublik and book a second round clash with world No 1 Djokovic next.
Djokovic kept his side of the bargain by brushing aside Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur for the loss of six games.
The top seed, fresh from his victory at the Western & Southern Open last week, took just under two hours to complete his commanding win and extend his winning streak for 2020 to 24 matches.
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But Edmund, who beat the Serb in three sets at the 2018 Madrid Open, is relishing another crack at the top seed and favourite for this year’s title at Flushing Meadows.
“It’s a match for me that I’ve got nothing to lose,” said the British No 2. “I have the experience of beating him but he has also beaten me a bunch of times. He’s a top player and the type of player who is tough to break down.”
I think he does have the game and the potential to be in the top 20 without a doubt, where I expect him to be soon. So it’s going to be a tough one.
Djokovic on Edmund
Djokovic expects a “challenge” when he takes on Edmund, despite holding a 5-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings.
“He does have a really good serve and forehand, two really big weapons. I had some really good matches against him in the past, Wimbledon, tough four-setter a few years ago,” said the 33-year-old.
“He doesn’t feel so much pressure I think playing on the big court. He actually likes the challenge. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a really hard worker, puts a lot of hours on and off the court into perfecting his game.
“His results were kind of up and down a little bit, but I think he does have the game and the potential to be in the top 20 without a doubt, where I expect him to be soon. So it’s going to be a tough one.
“I’m sure he has not so much to lose in that match. It’s important for me to start off well.”
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The Serb also insisted an unbeaten season is not his number one priority as he gives chase for what would be an 18th Grand Slam title, and a fourth in New York.
He said: “Do I want to keep the streak going? Of course I do. But am I thinking about it as a priority every single day? No.
“But it’s there, it’s an additional motivation for me and it fuels me to play even stronger and even better and play to the right intensity in every match.”
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