Paul-Henri Mathieu and Novak Djokovic will meet Wednesday in the second round of the US Open.
Paul-Henri Mathieu picked up a hard fought victory over Gilles Muller in the first round that lasted five sets. The match took three tiebreaks and Mathieu managed to battle back after dropping the first set. The victory was a much needed confidence booster for Paul-Henri Mathieu, who hasn’t had much success this season besides reaching the final of the Braunschweig Challenger. Overall, Mathieu is a subpar 3-4 in his last seven matches, as his tender age of 32 years old has clearly caught up to him. As for US Open success, this is the second time in three years Paul-Henri Mathieu has reached the second round, but he’s only made it to the third round twice in his lengthy career. Of course, it would be nothing short of a miracle if he could make it three trips to the third round with this match on tap.
Novak Djokovic had a painless match against Diego Schwartzman, as he needed just three sets and 25 games to complete the victory. After shaky performances in the Canadian and Cincinnati Masters, the first round victory was a positive sign that Djokovic is once again going to be a tough out in this tournament. Djokovic looked healthy, was moving around well and as usual made some of the tougher shots look easy. Novak also finished the match quickly, which will be key for him once he gets deeper in a tough bracket. Of course, Novak Djokovic has reached the final of the US Open the last four years and won the title back in 2011. If Djokovic can continue the dominating play that he showed in the opening match, there’s no reason why he can’t make yet another final in New York.
These two have played six times in the past and Djokovic leads the series 5-1. Paul-Henri Mathieu’s lone victory came in the 2006 Paris Masters. Since then, Novak Djokovic has not lost a single set to Mathieu, which includes a match in last year’s Australian Open.
Overall, it’s tough seeing that streak come to an end. Novak Djokovic is by far the superior tennis player and Paul-Henri Mathieu spent a ton of energy just reaching the second round. Fatigue is a huge factor in this tournament and guys who finish their matches quickly always have the advantage.
Look for Djokovic to win another quick match at the US Open.