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Jo Carter is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk

  • US Open, Day Seven

Early bird Djokovic flying high at US Open

Jo Carter September 2, 2012
Novak Djokovic made light work of Julien Benneteau © PA Photos
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He may be a self-confessed night owl, but there was no morning lethargy on Novak Djokovic's part as he motored into the fourth round with a straight sets win over Julien Benneteau.

Djokovic, who has been staying in New Jersey rather than in a local New York hotel, had an early start as he opened proceedings on Arthur Ashe Stadium ahead of Andy Roddick's clash against Fabio Fognini.

Djokovic admitted he was not used to the early morning wakeup calls, having become accustomed to playing during the prime time evening sessions. To save on some valuable sleep, the Serb shaved on Saturday night to ensure that extra five minutes in bed come Sunday morning.

"It was a very early match for me," Djokovic said. "I don't usually play the first match. It was important to start strong, remain concentrated and stay committed to every point. I'm not always the morning person, to be honest. You try to go to bed early and try to wake up early and get your body moving obviously."

He certainly did that. He was sharp from the word go, and needed just 97 minutes to power to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.

There was no sleepy start, no early mistakes - Djokovic made just 12 unforced errors in the whole match - compared with 41 winners. He didn't face a single break point - and hasn't done since the first game of his win over Paolo Lorenzi.

Next up for Djokovic is Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, a comfortable winner over Alexandr Dolgopolov. The No. 18 seed will be expected to present the world No. 2 with his toughest test yet - but based on Djokovic's performances in New York so far, it's hard to see Wawrinka causing his man any sleepless nights.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Jo Carter is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk