Novak Djokovic overcame searing heat at Flushing Meadows to beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in the first round of the US Open. Both players struggled to deal with the heat and humidity as temperatures hit 32C, and Djokovic had to request a sick bucket to be put next to his chair in the second set.
Officials also allowed a 10-minute heat break for both players between the third and fourth sets, which helped as Djokovic eventually went through 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0.
“I was praying that I got to feel better because I wasn’t feeling great for most of the first three sets,” said sixth seed Djokovic.
“I want to thank the US Open for allowing us to have a 10-minute break after the third set. We both needed it.
“We obviously both struggled. You could see that. Towards the end of the third we started to play a bit better, at least from my side. Before that it was survival mode.”
Wimbledon champion Djokovic, who won the men’s title at Flushing Meadows in 2011 and 2015, will now meet American Tennys Sandgren in the second round.