US Open Day 1 Takeaways: Rune’s tantrum, Gauff’s comeback, Djokovic reclaims throne

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images) /

Djokovic is still the one to beat at the US Open

Novak Djokovic is about to add another sparkling gem to his crown of excellence! The 36-year-old maestro, who’s practically buddies with the ATP world rankings’ top spot, clinched that coveted return to the summit in 90 minutes with a 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Alexandre Muller in the final match of the tournament’s opening day.

Djokovic owned that court like it was his kingdom from the first serve to the last. He dropped winners left and right, making Muller’s head spin like a tennis ball on a super-speed serve. With 32 winners to Muller’s 11 and a net game that was smoother than a perfectly executed drop shot, it was a Djokovic demolition. And those first serves? He handled them like they were his secret tennis superpower, dropping just five points.

The showdown was Djokovic’s grand entrance back onto the US Open stage after his heartbreaker of a loss in the 2021 final to Daniil Medvedev. It would’ve been a calendar-year Grand Slam if Djokovic had nabbed the win.

While Djokovic’s sights are set on grabbing that record-extending 24th Grand Slam singles title (talk about making history), he’s not about to let the thrill of the future overshadow his blazing triumph in the present. However, we, as fans can.

The 36-year-old will waltz back as World No. 1 and start a record-extending 390th week at the top.

Next for the 23-time grand slam champion is World No. 76 Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who dispatched American NCAA champion Ethan Quinn 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. On Monday. Will Djokovic make it look as easy as a Sunday afternoon rally, or will there be a twist in this tennis tale? One thing’s for sure – with Djokovic on the court, it’s always game on.

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