NEWYORK (Reuters) – Reigning champion Novak Djokovic battled with a shoulder problem that hampered his backhand as he secured a 6-4 7-6(3) 6-1 win over Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero and reached the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
Djokovic, who had work done on his left shoulder during his pre-match warm-up inside Arthur Ashe Stadium earlier in the day, was in clear distress when he took a medical timeout while leading 4-3 in the first set.
The Serbian top seed returned to court to close out the first set and then got more treatment before Londero, in only his second main draw match at Flushing Meadows, broke him twice for an early 3-0 lead in the second.
But a determined Djokovic found his way back by winning the next five games and then, after easing through the tiebreak, had more treatment before racing home in the third.
Up next for the three-times champion will be either fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic, the 27th seed, or American Denis Kudla, who were unable to play their match earlier because of inclement weather.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Nick Mulvenney)