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Djokovic sails past Querrey into last 16

Michael Beattie at Flushing Meadows
August 30, 2014 « LIVE - Transfer deadline day | Di Maria substitution precautionary, assures Van Gaal »
Novak Djokovic wrapped up victory over Sam Querrey in 85 minutes to book his spot in the fourth round © AP
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Novak Djokovic wasted little time in booking his place in the fourth round of the US Open with a quickfire 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Sam Querrey.

The world No.1 needed just 85 minutes to dispatch the Californian and set up a last-16 clash against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat John Isner - the last American to fall - in four sets.

Djokovic had anticipated a heavy home support for 26-year-old Querrey on a sweltering start to Saturday's afternoon session at Flushing Meadows, but soon cooled the crowd with an all-court display that ruthlessly exposed his opponent's reliance on his booming serve and forehand.

Djokovic is bidding to reach his fifth consecutive US Open final but arrived in New York with questions over his form and frame of mind in the weeks since his Wimbledon triumph following early defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Comprehensive straight-sets wins over Diego Schwartzman, Paul-Henri Mathieu and now Querrey appear to have put paid to the notion that marriage and impending fatherhood have been a distraction.

"I'm peaking at the right time, at the right tournament," said Djokovic, who has now reached the fourth round in each of the last 22 grand slams. "This is where I want to play my best tennis. I haven't done as well as I wanted in lead-up tournaments, Toronto and Cincinnati. I didn't know how emotionally drained I was until I played Tsonga in Canada - I didn't feel I could deliver my best.

"Emotionally I wasn't ready for those tournaments. But the upside of me losing early in Cincinnati is that I had more time to prepare for US Open, the last grand slam of the year. Over the years I played some of my best tennis on these courts: four finals and one title is quite an impressive record. I feel very comfortable playing on Arthur Ashe stadium. The New York crowd gives me a lot of energy. It's a pleasure to perform, to play in front of them."

Having dropped just four games against Mathieu, the world No.1 shot out of the blocks on Arthur Ashe Stadium once more, breaking Querrey twice to open up a 5-0 lead in just 15 minutes.

The Californian, a former top-20 player currently hovering on the outskirts of the top 50, has never beaten a top-10 opponent at a grand slam, and slipped a double-break down once more at the start of both the second and third sets.

"Sam is a big server and has a very powerful game," Djokovic said. "I had to move him around the court - he's a big guy, so doesn't move as well.

"Of course as the tournament progresses the opponents will be tougher, but I am ready."

Michael Beattie is a tennis writer for ESPN. Follow him on Twitter here.

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