c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Novak Djokovic stages incredible comeback defeats Laslo Djere at US Open
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Novak Djokovic stages incredible comeback defeats Laslo Djere at US Open

Novak Djokovic 
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Novak Djokovic once again proved why he is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Despite facing a daunting two-set deficit and struggling with his form, Djokovic fought back to defeat Laslo Djere 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in an epic third-round match at the US Open.

Djokovic's victory not only saved him from his earliest exit at the US Open since 2006 but also sent a strong message to his competitors. "Winning a match is always better than losing a match. It's as simple as that," Djokovic said. "Coming from two sets down always sends a strong message to the future opponents."

The match, which started under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night, lasted over 3 1/2 hours and concluded in the early hours of the morning. Djokovic's resilience was on full display as he claimed his eighth career victory after dropping the first two sets.

Once Djokovic gained control, he never let Djere regain his footing. In the decisive fifth set, Djokovic dominated, winning 12 of the first 14 points and leaving no doubt about the outcome of the match.

While Djokovic acknowledged the significance of his comeback, he expressed his preference for straight-set wins. He hopes to get back on track in his next match against Borna Gojo, a qualifier from Croatia making his US Open debut.

Djokovic, who has an impressive record of 38-11 in five-set matches, has a strong history at Flushing Meadows, having won three of his record-breaking 23 Grand Slam titles there. After being unable to compete in the US Open last year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Djokovic returned to the tournament with a renewed determination.

Seeded No. 2 in the tournament, Djokovic was expected to face Carlos Alcaraz in the championship match. However, Djere, a fellow Serbian and the 32nd seed, posed a significant challenge to Djokovic's title aspirations.

The match was a nerve-wracking affair, with Djokovic admitting that it remained tense until the very last shot. Djere, aiming to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, showed no signs of intimidation against his more accomplished opponent. The two players have a long history together, practicing together and even competing as doubles partners.

Djere started the match strongly, outlasting Djokovic in lengthy baseline exchanges and taking control of the first two sets. Djokovic struggled to find a solution to Djere's game, with his footwork and ball control appearing off. However, Djokovic, known for his ability to turn matches around, regrouped during the break between sets.

A pep talk in the mirror and a change of mindset proved to be the catalyst for Djokovic's resurgence. He broke Djere's serve early in the third set and quickly turned the tide in his favor. With renewed energy and determination, Djokovic dominated the remainder of the match, showcasing his trademark defensive skills and powerful shots.

As Djokovic's comeback gained momentum, he celebrated each victory with enthusiasm, pumping his fists and urging the crowd to support him. Djere, caught off guard by Djokovic's relentless play, struggled to keep up and ultimately succumbed to the Serbian's brilliance.

Djokovic's ability to overcome adversity and elevate his game when it matters most is a testament to his unrivaled skill and mental fortitude. As he progresses further in the tournament, his opponents will undoubtedly be wary of his unwavering determination and ability to turn the tide in his favor.

Djokovic's remarkable performance serves as a reminder of his unwavering determination and ability to excel under pressure. As the tournament progresses, his rivals will undoubtedly take note of his resilience and fighting spirit.

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