January 2020
3:44 PM IST
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Djokovic, Federer advance to last 16 at US Open
New York: Top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic defeated American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to make the round of 16 at the US Open. Djokovic, who was bothered by the left shoulder pain in previous round, looked comfortable in the third-round match, needing two hours to dispatch his opponent on Friday. Awaiting Djokovic is a blockbuster showdown with former US Open champion and No 23 seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who prevailed in straight sets over Italian Paolo Lorenzi. "We had some great battles over the years everywhere, but particularly here. I lost to him the last time we played on this court," Djokovic said.

"He''s someone that possesses a game with a lot of power and quality. He''s a great guy. We practice together a lot, so may the best man win." Wawrinka is 5-19 against Djokovic, but the past two times he''s beaten the Serb on hard court have been at Grand Slams, namely the 2016 US Open final and the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals. Wawrinka also beat Djokovic during the 2015 Roland Garros final. "I played him twice in the final of a Grand Slam. I''m full of confidence. I''m playing well, moving well, at the top of my game. For sure I could only play the best tennis when it''s the final," Wawrinka said.

"I know that it''s going to have some big rally, I''m going to play good tennis," he added. There''s also an easy third round win for Swiss master Roger Federer, who defeated Daniel Evans of Britain 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Federer was the stronger player from the baseline and hit 48 winners including 10 aces. Moreover, Federer won 80 percent of first serve points and 70 percent on his second serve. The five-time champion (2004-08) is into the round of 16 for the 18th consecutive year. He has not missed the second week of the US Open since his debut appearance in 2000. Evans admitted that he was outgunned and outclassed.

"Obviously I didn''t play my best today, but he got on top of me early and it was difficult. I guess he has every shot, so it''s not ideal to have an opponent that has every shot," he said. Elsewhere, Japanese seventh seed Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, lost to Australia''s Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

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