HEAD racquet rebels Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have moved into pole position at the US Open for the second week, with both looking for career-first title honours at the final Grand Slam of the season. World No. 1 Djokovic, swinging his YouTek IG Speed MP with the awesome precision which has carried him to nine titles this season including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, did not lose a set in his first three matches to start his 2011 campaign at Flushing Meadows.
The Serb’s victims so far: Irelands Conor Niland (retirement) followed by straight-set thrashings of Argentine Carlos Berlocq (YouTek Prestige MP) and former Top 5 player Nikolay Davydenko. Djokovic says that everything is running perfectly with his team and his game. And he’s more than pleased with how he has been consistently playing the big points. "That comes with experience, it comes with time," he said. "It’s not something that you can be born with. It’s not a talent, it’s just knowledge, experience from playing many matches, knowing what to do at a certain moment.”
Murray, the 2008 finalist in New York, is progressing well with his YouTek Radical Pro at what the Scot calls his favourite of the four majors. He has accounted for India’s Somdev Devvarman, won a five-set struggle from two sets to love down over Dutchman Robin Haase (YouTek Prestige Mid) - the sixth such comeback of Murray’s career - and reached the second week as he beat Feliciano Lopez at the second successive Grand Slam, earning a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
"This crowd loves emotions and they love a bit of drama, and also long points," said Murray. "I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I like to get the crowd involved a bit, show some fist pumps. That’s what I always did when I was a kid, and that’s when I felt like I always moved my best, when I enjoyed playing tennis the most."
Gilles Simon (YouTek Prestige MP) moves ahead in the second week after winning a five-set thriller over 2009 winner Juan Del Potro of Argentina 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). New York is special for the Frenchman, who had to rush home after losing a year ago, missing the birth of his son. "It was a special moment. I was really sad to miss the birth, of course. But then I wanted to be there as soon as possible. So I was very impatient, it was a special trip, I saw him when he was three days old."
In the women’s draw, 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has been untouchable with her YouTek IG Extreme Pro, winning handily into the second week.