NEW YORK – Defending champion Novak Djokovic silenced concerns about his left shoulder as the Serbian breezed past American Denis Kudla 6-3 6-4 6-2 on Friday to reach the last 16 at the U.S. Open.
Djokovic's title defence looked to be in jeopardy in his previous match when he received treatment on his shoulder several times, an issue which he said had impacted his serve and backhand.
But he looked to be playing pain free against Kudla, the 16-times Grand Slam champion winning 81% of his first-serve points and turning aside all seven break points he faced against the unseeded American.
"I managed to play almost pain free, that's a big improvement from my last match," said top seed Djokovic.
"Obviously I didn't know how the body would react and I am just glad to finish the match tonight."