Watch Out for Novak

After Novak Djokovic’s absurd 3 hour, 40 minue match on a brutally hot day on Tuesday, I was concerned. Playing those exerting matches at any point during the first four rounds is a sure-bet to run yourself out of the tournament by time you get to the second week when fitness counts for a lot. More so than any other top player, Djokovic has made a habit of playing some long and grueling matches here in Queens over the last four years.

Well, with Djokovic’s easy victory over Mardy Fish today, he has put that notion–and himself–straight to rest. He has played three easy matches since his Round 1 marathon, and has won all in straight sets. Here’s a look at what he’s done:

Round 1 v. Viktor Troicki: 3 hours, 40 mins

Round 2 v. Phillipp Petzschner: 2 hours, 23 mins

Round 3 v. James Blake: 1 hour, 44 mins

Round 4 v. Mardy Fish: 1 hour, 50 mins

Djokovic has certainly benefited from great conditions over the last few days, and it’s going to benefit him hugely in his quartefinal match against Gael Monfils on Wednesday, and a potential semifinal with Federer on Saturday afternoon. It’s the most economical I’ve seen Djokovic play since he made his first run here in 2007.

And suddenly, with all the talk around here being dominated by a Roger-Rafa final, we’ve got to be taking a good look at Novak Djokovic who is getting better and better by the round.

Djokovic has lost to Federer three straight years in three straight set matches at the Open–once in the finals and twice in the semifinals. It’s beginning to look like that if these two do have a rematch on Saturday afternoon, Djokovic is going to have a lot more fight in him. Watch Out for Novak