World number one Novak Djokovic's quest for a calendar Grand Slam and record-breaking 21st major title remains on track after outlasting Jenson Brooksby 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in a gruelling US Open showdown.

Unheralded American qualifier and world number 99 Brooksby had the crowd roaring following an incredible opening set against Djokovic in Monday's last-16 clash at Flushing Meadows.

However, Djokovic – bidding to become only the third man to sweep all four slams in the same year and first since Rod Laver in 1969 – responded to the almighty challenge, showcasing his superior physicality as the three-time US Open champion rallied into the quarter-finals in New York.

Brooksby was making his first appearance on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the 20-year-old was looking to become the lowest-ranked player to beat a number one at the US Open since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973 and youngest American man since Andy Roddick (2003 Wimbledon) to reach a major quarter-final.

He was not overawed on the big stage, blitzing Djokovic in a remarkable first set. Playing with a bounce in his step and bringing the crowd to its feet, Brooksby only hit one unforced error in a dominant 29-minute display, which included two breaks of serve.

Djokovic was 38-34 at grand slams when losing the opening set and 12-10 at Flushing Meadows and after an error-filled opener, the Serb star let out an almighty roar after racing out to a 3-0 lead.

Just as Djokovic – level on 20 men's slams with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – looked comfortable, he endured a marathon 20-minute fifth game against Brooksby.

Brooksby broke at the sixth time of asking and the breath-taking tennis continued as Djokovic broke straight back to reclaim his advantage at 4-2 – the latter ending the game with an intense stare down in the direction of his opponent.

After a gruelling second set to level the match, the third followed a similar pattern, with Djokovic breaking in the opening game before moving 3-0 ahead.

Djokovic did not relinquish that lead, hitting 13 winners while claiming 11 of his 13 points at the net as he took the match to Brooksby.

Brooksby put up a huge fight but, he was unable to maintain his charge as the crowd went silent – Djokovic looking ahead to a last-eight showdown with sixth seed Matteo Berrettini in a rematch of the Wimbledon final.

 

Data slam: Djokovic flawless against locals in New York

With his hard-fought victory, which lasted almost three hours, Djokovic improved to 11-0 against Americans at the US Open. He is 29-3 at major events and 70-10 in ATP Tour-level matches. The 34-year-old is on a 21-match winning streak against players from the United States since Sam Querrey snapped his 30-match slam streak at Wimbledon in 2016.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 44/41
Brooksby – 27/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 9/1
Brooksby – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 6/12
Brooksby – 3/11

Carlos Alcaraz's fairytale run to the quarter-finals at the US Open is a dream come true for the Spanish teenager.

Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era when he ousted Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 6-0 on Sunday.

The 18-year-old, who became the youngest man to defeat a top-three player at Flushing Meadows when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas last week, is also the most junior male player at the New York grand slam since Thomaz Koch in 1963.

Similarly, Sunday's triumph made him the youngest men's singles quarter-finalist at any grand slam since Michael Chang (18) made the last eight at the 1990 French Open.

Alcaraz will now face another rising star – Felix Auger-Aliassime – for a place in the semi-finals.

"I'm super excited to be in my first second week in the grand slam, so it's amazing for me. It's a dream come true," an ecstatic Alcaraz told reporters.

"It's really tough to play these kinds of matches, to play fifth sets. I hope to play [in] more second weeks, to play more quarter-finals of grand slams.

"I didn't expect to play in the quarter-finals here, so I think it's a really good performance from me in these matches."

Dubbed as the heir to Rafael Nadal's thrown, Alcaraz has certainly had the crowd on his side during his run.

"In the first sets I thought that I reached my limit, physically and mentally. I think the crowd was really, really important for me in this situation," Alcaraz added.

"I felt the energy of the crowd pushing me up. I think without the crowd, it couldn't be possible to be here."

Alcaraz faces a stern test in the form of world number 15 Auger-Aliassime, who has reached his second straight grand slam quarter-final.

However, the 21-year-old Canadian – who is aiming to secure a maiden appearance in the last four of a major – knows the quality Alcaraz possesses.

"He's a great player. At some point age is just a number. He already feels like a player who's established," Auger-Aliassime said of Alcaraz.

"He's playing some amazing tennis, so I think we’ll see a lot of him, a lot of us, a lot of Frances [Tiafoe] in the future."

Teenage Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz made history after outlasting Peter Gojowczyk for a US Open quarter-final berth.

Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era thanks to Sunday's 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 6-0 victory at Flushing Meadows.

After stunning third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in New York, where he became the youngest man to defeat a top-three player at the US Open, the 18-year-old needed another five-setter to continue his fairytale run.

Alcaraz rallied past Gojowczyk, finishing with 35 winners – five more than the German qualifier – and 45 unforced errors, which were 39 fewer than his opponent.

Dubbed the new Rafael Nadal, Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist since Thomaz Koch (18) in the pre-Open Era in 1963.

He also became the youngest men's grand slam singles quarter-finalist since Michael Chang (18) at the 1990 French Open.

With the win, Alcaraz became the youngest men's player to earn back-to-back five-set wins at a grand slam since Chang (16) at the 1988 US Open as Felix Auger-Aliassime or Frances Tiafoe await.

Daniil Medvedev said "it's tough to beat me" as the confident and in-form world number two took another step towards his maiden grand slam crown at the US Open.

Medvedev advanced to the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory over 24th seed Dan Evans in New York on Sunday.

US Open finalist in 2019 and Australian Open runner-up this year, Russian star Medvedev is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows this week.

As Dutch qualifier Botic Van De Zandschulp awaits, Medvedev discussed expectations at the US Open in pursuit of his first major title.

"I always say I take it match by match," Medvedev told reporters after hitting 42 winners in one hour, 43 minutes. "You can lose first round, you can lose final. If I play good, I know what I'm capable of. It's tough to beat me.

"In Wimbledon, I was honest, I lost against a great player, Hubert is playing great. I think he's on the rise. He's going to be even better ranked and maybe he's gonna go further in slams. He beat Roger [Federer] after me.

"But again, I was not talking about match itself where the loss was okay, I would say. I was talking about the result in general, and fourth round is not enough for number two in the world, especially I like grass more than clay, so maybe on clay I would not say this.

"Yeah, it's the same every tournament. If you're top seed, if you are not in the final, let's say Cincinnati, I lost against Rublev, brutal match, really strong play from him. But if you talk about the result itself, semi-final was not good enough.

"There is not much to add. I want to win every tournament I play in, without putting pressure on myself. Because again, I know how to win matches, and I know sometimes why I lose them, so that's just learning and being better for the next time."

Medvedev is 31-5 on hard courts in 2021 and 162-61 in his career, while he has won 11 of his 12 ATP titles on hard courts.

The 25-year-old owns a 17-4 record (80.95 per cent) at the US Open – his most wins and highest win percentage at a grand slam event.

"Feeling great before the second week," Medvedev said. "Feeling great with my tennis, my mental, my physical. Just looking forward."

Medvedev, who lost a thrilling US Open final to Rafael Nadal two years ago, added: "Now I just want to make it to the finals again to have another thing to remember and hopefully a better one."

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev refused to get carried away about his chances of winning his maiden major title despite easing into the US Open fourth round on Saturday.

The German fourth seed was leading 3-6 6-2 6-3 2-1 when Jack Sock withdrew with a groin issue which had been plaguing him throughout the match.

Zverev's walkover victory extended his winning run to 14 matches, dating back to his Tokyo 2020 gold medal triumph along with last month's Cincinnati Masters victory.

Reigning champion Dominic Thiem along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all withdrew from the US Open prior to the tournament, opening the door for a first time winner.

"I’m on a 14-match winning streak now," Zverev said during his on-court interview. "I’m playing well. That’s all I want to say, I don’t want to say anything else.

"We all know that Novak is the big favourite, we all know that Daniil [Medvedev] is playing incredible tennis, we all know that there are a lot of other players out there that are playing incredible tennis.

"I think my fourth-round match against Jannik Sinner is going to be extremely entertaining because he’s a young guy that is very hungry and I feel like that’s going to be a high-level match."

Zverev also spoke about his drive to succeed at majors, having struggled earlier in his career.

The German was runner-up at last year's US Open and made the semi-finals at this year's French Open and last year's Australian Open.

Zverev's hopes for going deep at Flushing Meadows will be aided by the premature end to his match with Sock, having won in straight sets in the first two rounds over Sam Querrey and Albert Ramos Vinolas.

The Olympics gold medalist was full of praise for Sock, who has been plagued by injuries, after a dominant opening set.

"Jack I think played the best set of tennis I've ever seen him play," Zverev said. "I did one unforced error in the whole set and I lost it, 6-3, without having really any chances.

"If he would have kept it up I probably would not have won the match… Afterwards when he gets injured, it's a shame because otherwise it would have been an incredible match I think."

Top seed Ashleigh Barty insisted nerves did not get the better of her as she let slip a 5-2 lead in the third set to bow out of the US Open after a shock third round loss to Shelby Rogers on Saturday.

World number 43 Rogers stunned the 2021 Wimbledon champion 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-5) in a seesawing contest that lasted two hours and eight minutes.

Barty had a double-break lead in the third set and served for the match, before Rogers stormed back to win the next four games and triumph in a tie-break in front of a raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd who cheered home the American.

It was the fourth time in the tournament that Barty had been broken serving for the match.

"No, I felt comfortable on the court," Barty told reporters when asked if there was an element of nerves. "I think that tension is natural. But I felt fine.

"I just didn't quite have enough physically or mentally in the tank but that's okay.

"We've had a great year so far. We're looking forward to celebrating the good stuff that we've done, learning from the hurt, learning from the experiences, and moving on."

Barty's third round exit adds to her ordinary record at Flushing Meadows, having never progressed further than the fourth round.

The Australian, who was absent from the US Open in 2020, was beaten by China's Wang Qiang in the 2019 fourth round as second seed, and went down to Karolina Pliskova at the same stage in 2018.

Barty would not be drawn on her record at Flushing Meadows, instead preferring to focus on her strong year, having been on the road for the past six months.

"The last six months have been a roller coaster," she said. "I think back to the very first match that I played on this trip. I was 5-2 down in the third set in the first round of Miami. Tennis has a funny way of evening things out, doesn't it?

"You can't win every single tennis match that you play. I'm proud of myself and my team for all the efforts we've put in in the last six months. It's been pretty incredible. I don't think we could have asked for much more honestly. I wouldn't change a thing.

"With all of the tough moments that we have had, it's created some of the most enjoyable experiences. I've learnt so much about myself, about them, the way that we work together. It's been truly an incredible six months."

Rogers becomes the first American woman to defeat the world number one in the first week of a major tournament since 1994, when Steffi Graf was shocked by Lori McNeil.

"I'm not sure I can," Rogers said on-court when asked how to describe the comeback from 5-2 down. "I tried to fight for every point. I didn’t want to leave, I said 'make balls, try to stay in this match'."

Rogers will face impressive British qualifier Emma Raducanu in the fourth round, while Barty confirmed she will now take a break but play at next month's Indian Wells.

Novak Djokovic powered through to week two of the US Open by sinking Kei Nishikori, a player who must be sick of the sight of the Serbian.

For a 17th consecutive time in their rivalry, Djokovic beat the former world number four, who was runner-up at this tournament seven years ago.

A 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory in three hours and 33 minutes for Djokovic moves him into the fourth round, ever closer to the calendar Grand Slam he is chasing, having already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Nishikori beat Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals in 2014, before losing to Marin Cilic in the final, but that was the last time he got the better of the man from Belgrade.

Djokovic won their 2018 semi-final at Flushing Meadows for the loss of just nine games and a 6-2 6-0 win for the world number one over Japan's Nishikori at the Tokyo Olympics in July suggested this latest clash in New York, the 20th between them, could be similarly one-sided.

Yet it became clear early in this clash that Djokovic faced a substantial test. He trailed 4-2 in the opener and could not save the set, despite forcing a tie-break. A stunning lob from Nishikori gave him two serves for the set, and he held his nerve to move in front.

Djokovic broke in the third game of the second set though and staved off a flurry of break-back points on his way to levelling the match.

When Nishikori served a double fault to allow Djokovic two break points in game four of the third set, it was inviting trouble. Djokovic won the second of those when his low slice and net rush prompted Nishikori to net a backhand.

Against the flow of the match, Nishikori broke back, helped by two consecutive double faults, but order was restored as Djokovic rolled through the next two games to move a set away from the next round.

Nishikori probably needed Djokovic's body to fail him, or for something as bizarre as last year's disqualification to occur, but nothing of the sort happened in set four, the world's best player in a class of his own.

Djokovic said: "I don't think I started off very well. I was too passive and too far back in the court and he was dictating the play. It took me a little bit of time to adjust to his game.

"By the beginning of the second set I felt like I was getting my groove back, getting my rhythm back. I was very pleased with my focus."

DATA SLAM

Nishikori will look back to the second set and ponder 'what if?', because he had seven break points and took none of them. Djokovic had three in that set and took two, and there lies greatness. Tennis comes down to taking chances as they arrive, being clinical, and after the chaos of the first set this was a ruthless Djokovic show.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 45/52
Nishikori – 38/56

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 15/7
Nishikori – 6/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 7/16
Nishikori – 2/13

Carlos Alcaraz was lost for words after making history in the Spanish teenager's shock five-set upset of world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open.

Alcaraz – rated by many as Spain's best young male player since 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal first emerged – sent Tsitsipas packing 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 0-6 7-6 (7-5) in the third round on Friday.

The 18-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest player to reach the last 16 of the US Open since Americans Michael Chang and Pete Sampras in 1989.

Alcaraz also became the youngest man to beat a top-three opponent at the tournament since the ATP introduced its world ranking system in 1973.

After more than four hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Alcaraz told reporters: "I have not words to explain how I feeling right now.

"I just don't know what happened out there in the court. I can't believe that I beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic match.

"For me it's a dream come true."

Amid comparisons with countryman Nadal, Alcaraz added: "Honestly I don't copy any style of a players. I just play my game.

"But if I have to say one player that is similar my game, I think it's [Roger] Federer. I think similar as mine game, trying to be aggressive all the time. I think it's a good similar for me."

After his US Open campaign came to a surprise end, third seed Tsitsipas tipped Alcaraz for future success.

"A hundred percent," Tsitsipas replied when asked if he had a sense of Alcaraz's potential. "I said he can be a contender for Grand Slam titles. He has the game to be there."

"I've never seen someone hit the ball so hard," French Open runner-up Tsitsipas added. "Took time to adjust. Took time to kind of develop my game around his game style.

"It's one of these matches and one of these feelings where, you know, you pick up at some point of the match, you feel like you're in control, and it doesn't really go your way at the end.

"It's kind of bitter, I would say, especially after such an incredible first set by my side, dominating, being just so aggressive, not dwelling on the past. It was a great first set.

"I don't know. I felt like he played the fifth one completely -- the way he played the first set basically, careless, going for every single shot. I have never seen someone play such a good fifth set, honestly."

Carlos Alcaraz put his name up in lights in New York as the 18-year-old stunned third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a massive US Open third-round upset.

Spanish teenager Alcaraz scored an astounding 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 0-6 7-6 (7-5) victory in a battle lasting four hours, seven minutes inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.

French Open runner-up Tsitsipas became the biggest casualty of the men's tournament so far as hot prospect Alcaraz showed his mettle on the grand slam stage at Flushing Meadows.

It means Alcaraz, rated by many as Spain's best young male player since Rafael Nadal first emerged, has reached the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career.

He becomes the youngest player to reach the last 16 of the US Open since Americans Michael Chang and Pete Sampras in 1989.

The US Open said the win made Alcaraz the youngest man to beat a top-three opponent at the tournament since the ATP introduced its world ranking system in 1973.

Alcaraz put a dire fourth set behind him and looked to have won the match with a lob at 6-4 in the deciding tie-break, but his ball landed a whisker long.

That meant the players were back on serve, but Alcaraz was unbowed and sealed victory with a scorching forehand winner, announcing himself as a likely superstar of the near future. He struck 61 winners in all.

He will face German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in the fourth round, with a quarter-final place at stake.

Speaking on court after his win, Alcaraz hailed the supportive New York spectators who were firmly in his corner.

"I think without this crowd I haven't the possibility to win this match," he said. "Thank you to you the crowd for pushing me up in the fifth set

"It has been an incredible feeling for me. This victory means a lot to me. It's the best match of my career, the best win.

"For me to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas is a dream come true for me and to do it here is more special."

Novak Djokovic says he was not acting like a "spoiled brat" when he complained about a rowdy spectator during his US Open defeat of Tallon Griekspoor.

World number one Djokovic took another stride towards a first calendar Grand Slam and a record 21st major title by beating Dutchman Griekspoor 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the second round on Thursday.

Top seed Djokovic, who will face Kei Nishikori in the third round, had to contend with a member of the crowd trying to unsettle him in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

He shouted as the Serb went for an overhead smash that he missed and continued to be vocal during points, prompting Djokovic to express his grievances with the chair umpire.

Djokovic feels it is important to make it clear that sort of behaviour should not be tolerated.

"When tennis players talk about that, someone who is watching team sports would say, 'What a spoiled brat'," the three-time US Open champion said.

"But it's a different sport. Look, there's a lot of noise happening on the stadium, particularly in the night sessions. I don't mind that.

"Even sometimes during the point it happens that people out of excitement, they just scream, or they release like a sound or whatever, sigh, whatever you call it. And that's fine.

"But if someone intentionally does it over and over again, then I have tolerance up to a certain point, then it's not correct, then it's not fine. It's not fair. I feel like it's not good for us players.

"I mean, particularly that guy for some reason was calling, raising the sound and kind of screaming just before I would hit my smash, which was a big point. Before that he would do [it] a few times. After that again.

"That wasn't nice. That's all. I don't mind the noise. Don't get me wrong. I think it's important for the entertainment, for the crowds, the music.

"I get it. But if someone does it over and over again, particularly when you are at his side, he knows why he's doing it. The guy that I pointed out, he knew exactly what he was doing, and that's all."

Novak Djokovic welcomed the ongoing 'GOAT' discussion alongside Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer after the world number one took another step towards an historic grand slam title at the US Open.

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer share the most men's slams in history with 20 but the former has the chance to break the record at Flushing Meadows, where the top seed dismantled unheralded Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the second round on Thursday.

Serb star Djokovic is also bidding to become just the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam and the first to sweep all four majors in a year since Rod Laver in 1969.

It is widely debated who is the greatest player of all time among Djokovic, Nadal and Federer – the latter two are both absent from this year's US Open due to injury.

After reaching the third round in New York, Djokovic was asked who the better player on a neutral surface is, given Nadal's clay-court dominance and Federer's grass-court expertise.

"It's difficult to say who is better. Three of us, we're all so different. We have different styles," Djokovic said during his post-match news conference.

"We have different trajectories or journeys to where we are at this moment. We all had tremendous success, some more particularly on one surface, some the other surface.

"We do complement each other. I think the rivalry between the big three, so to say, it's phenomenal for our sport.

"So the more traction, the more conversation there is around the three of us, the GOAT discussion, et cetera, the better in general for our sport. I hope people still keep on talking about it."

Djokovic added: "I think actually one of the best I think images that I've ever seen from tennis is them [Nadal and Federer] playing on a half-grass, half-clay court.

"I thought that was fantastic. Whoever came up with the idea was genius. As a tennis fan, I enjoyed that very much."

Djokovic hit 33 winners, fired down 13 aces and broke six times throughout a dominant performance against Griekspoor under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

The 34-year-old also improved to 53-1 against non-top 100 opponents at majors, while he is now 13-0 against them at the US Open.

Kei Nishikori awaits Djokovic, who owns a 17-2 head-to-head record against the 2014 US Open runner-up.

"We played many times. I have very good score against him," Djokovic said of Nishikori. "I lost I think last time here in New York in semis in 2014. Historically I think his most successful grand slam is here. He's one of the quickest and most-talented players that I've seen in my lifetime, in my career.

"I think it's important for me to serve well and try to take off the pace a little bit because he likes the pace. He likes to hit the ball early, protect the line. But I know his game well. We played in Olympic Games. I know what's expecting me. I look forward to a good challenge."

History-chasing world number one Novak Djokovic cruised through to the third round of the US Open at the expense of Tallon Griekspoor 6-2 6-3 6-2.

Djokovic is bidding to become just the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam and the first to sweep all four majors in a year since Rod Laver in 1969.

The top seed, who is also pursuing a record-breaking 21st slam crown – currently level with injured stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 – outclassed Griekspoor in one hour, 39 minutes on Thursday.

Awaiting Djokovic is 2014 US Open finalist and Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the third round.

Djokovic, who withstood a spirited challenge from Holger Rune in the opening round before the teenager succumbed to cramps, asserted his dominance against Griekspoor from the outset on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Boasting a 14-0 record in second-round matches at the US Open, Djokovic only lost one point on his first serve in the opening set and fired down five aces, while hitting 13 winners and converting two of his three break points.

While world number 121 Griekspoor managed to break Djokovic's serve in the second set, the Serb was typically efficient as he builds towards another shot at history in New York.

Coming to the net more in the third set, Djokovic was determined to get off the court as quickly as possible and he did just that – saving three break points en route to another third-round appearance at the year's final slam.

 

Data slam: Djokovic continues strong record

The 34-year-old came into the contest with a 52-1 slam record against non-top 100 opponents. Djokovic improved to 53-1 – his lone loss to world number 117 Denis Istomin at the 2017 Australian Open – and a perfect 13-0 at the US Open with his straight-sets victory.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 33/20
Griekspoor – 20/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 13/5 
Griekspoor – 5/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 6/10
Griekspoor – 1/4

Alexander Zverev believes his comeback victory over Novak Djokovic at the Olympics has paved the way for his fine start at the US Open.

Zverev came from a set down to defeat world number one Djokovic 1-6 6-3 6-1 at the semi-final stage in Tokyo, with the German going on to claim gold by beating Karen Khachanov in straight sets.

The world number four carried the winning form to Cincinnati, triumphing at the Western and Southern Open, and has made a smooth start at Flushing Meadows, where he lost out to Dominic Thiem in last year's final.

Zverev did not offer up a single break point in a dominant first-round win over Sam Querrey, and lost only four games when cruising past Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-0 6-3 on Thursday.

"The process started at the Olympics for me, and the match against Novak," Zverev told reporters.

"That kind of started it off, because I was down badly, and I managed to win with great tennis.

"It was very important for me to kind of back it up in Cincinnati, because a lot of the times players that for the first time in their career win something really big like a grand slam title or a gold medal, they do tend to go downhill a little bit.

"So it was important for me to go to Cincinnati, to a place where I have never won a match before this year, and have a great tournament."

Another motivation for Zverev is the cruel fashion in which he lost to Thiem last year, when he surrendered a two-set lead.

"I mean I was the first man in 785 years to lose a US Open from two sets to love up and being a break up in the third set, serving for it in the fifth set, being two points away multiple times, it was painful," Zverev said with a smile.

"I still remember it, I remember it every single time I walk on this board but I take it as motivation because I'm back here to hopefully play a great tournament and win a grand slam title, that's what I’m here to do."

Zverev has now tallied up 40 wins in 2021 and 13 on the bounce, though the 24-year-old - who could meet Djokovic in the semi-finals - knows he has to maintain his strong service game to keep his best tennis.

"My serve is kind of the key to my game. When it's working I'm playing great. When it's not, I'm losing matches like I did at Wimbledon," he said.

"It's no secret that my serve is probably the most important shot in my game, and I'm happy with how it's working. The matches are not going to get easier and I will need that to be my weapon.

"I think it was always a problem of mine at the beginning of my career that I always spent a lot of hours, a lot of time in the beginning of grand slam tournaments. So it's nice to have two matches, winning [them] in straight sets."

The US Open was mounting a clean-up and safety check operation on Thursday after being affected by a deadly storm that struck New York City. 

There would be no play before 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT), an hour later than matches usually get under way, and spectators were told they would not be allowed into the grounds until 11:00 at the earliest. 

Severe weather hit New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, with the tail-end of Hurricane Ida striking the area and causing at least nine deaths. 

Eight of those deaths recorded in New York resulted from basements flooding, the New York Post reported, with the flash flooding causing chaos in large parts of the city. At one point, 3.15 inches of rain fell in an hour, a record for the Big Apple. 

Tournament organisers were carrying out inspections to determine whether safety of visitors to the Flushing Meadows grounds could be assured. 

The US Open said in a statement: "We appreciate your patience as we evaluate the readiness of our site. The safety of our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance. 

"We will be issuing an update to the schedule including gate opening and match start times. The current plan will not open gates before 11:00 am." 

The storms were so unusually powerful on Wednesday that the late-night match between Kevin Anderson and Diego Schwartzman on the covered Louis Armstrong Stadium was affected by rain, with water gusting in through openings despite the protection. 

It was moved to Arthur Ashe Stadium to be completed, with its original court left drenched. 

Transport in New York early on Thursday was proving problematic, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, responsible for the local bus and subway system, announcing an "extremely limited" service and urging customers to "stay home if you can". 

Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic, along with Olympic champions Alexander Zverev and Belinda Bencic, are among those due in action on Thursday. 

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