Novak Djokovic “lost it mentally” before he secured a four-set victory over Tennys Sandgren in the US Open second round.
The Serbian had looked on course for a comfortable victory over his big-hitting opponent after he eased his way through the first two sets, and he also had match point during the third, but he failed to take the opportunity and lost the set on a tie-break.
Djokovic was then able to recompose himself during the fourth set as he eventually secured a 6-1 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 victory to set up a third-round clash with Richard Gasquet.
The sixth seed, who is chasing his third title at Flushing Meadows, was frustrated he was not able to close the match out in straight sets.
“I thought I played very well for the first two sets, two sets and a half, and then lost it mentally, said Djokovic. “I’m not happy with the way I lost concentration and composure, but I managed to regroup in the fourth.”
The 31-year-old will fancy his chances of seeing off Gasquet in round three as he has won 12 of their 13 previous meetings.
However, the Frenchman has looked in impressive form in New York, recording straight-sets victories over Yuichi Sugita and Laslo Dere.