NOVAK DJOKOVIC eased into round three but then launched an angry attack – on himself.
The Serbian was furious after failing to take a match point in the third set which allowed gutsy American Tennys Sandgren to pull one back.
It didn’t matter too much as the two time US Open champ upped his game in the fourth to set up a Saturday meeting with Frenchman Richard Gasquet thanks to a 6-1 6-3 6-7 6-2 win.
Djokovic, 31, is eyeing up a 14th slam title and arrived in New York as Wimbledon champ following a run at SW19 which saw Sandgren thrashed out of sight on the way.
But after almost falling foul of the steamy conditions in his opener before being forced to spend extra time on court by the American world No61, the super Serb hasn’t had it all his own way.
He moaned: “I just lost it mentally, I got p****ed off at something, myself , my game. I am not happy with the way I lost that concentration and composure.”
EYES IN BACK OF HIS ED
Woodward keeping tabs on Mourinho by monitoring Man Utd training
Ron to watch
Man Utd face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juve while Reds and Spurs get nightmare draws
JUST NOT RON
Ronaldo’s agent slams Uefa for ‘shameful’ Player of the Year snub
HOME and AWAY
Tottenham ‘host’ Watford in Carabao Cup with tie set to be held at MK Dons
Sneaky Ramos strokes Salah on THAT shoulder.. but Mo doesn’t flinch
Old Trafford songs over Lloris are out of tune with problem of drink-driving
Cristiano Ronaldo can twist knife for Jose Mourinho after pair’s bitter fallout
West Brom’s £7m Bradley Dack bid rejected by Blackburn but deal could still be done
Who do Celtic play next in the Europa League and what pot will they be in?
FC Ufa 1 Rangers 1 (1-2 agg)
Gerrard’s nine men pull off famous Europa League triumph
He took just 32 minutes to win the first set and didn’t take long to secure the second either.
The game was almost up only for Sandgren, who was praised by Djokovic afterwards for his fighting spirit, to save a match point and then bag the tie-break , much to the delight of the home fans.
An angry Djokovic, however, is a dangerous beast and just 33 minutes later, the 13 time slam winner was through.
He added: “I’m not happy with the way I lost my composure in the third set. I was getting stressed out. Credit to him but it’s not the first time I have done it.
“That how you learn and even with all my experience, I still make mistakes.”
Meanwhile, it was a nightmare in New York for Aussie Open champ and No2 seed Caroline Wozniacki who was dumped out in straight sets in the second round by world No36 Lesia Tsurenko.
It was the Ukranian’s first ever win against a top five player — and a huge disappointment for the Danish star.
Maria Sharapova had a better day at the office though as the Russian, 31, beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2 7-5 despite 10 double faults.
Classy Federer effortlessly downs Paire to set up clash with Kyrgios
Murray fearing for his tennis future after being dumped in US Open second round
Nick of time
Kyrgios booed on court but gets last laugh as he wins after umpire pep-talk
‘10,000 times worse’
Serena catsuit ban ‘shocking’ says Cornet after her own wardrobe storm
Where there’s a Will
Serena Williams plays in tutu ahead of 30th clash with sister Venus
Court in the act
US Open branded ‘sexist’ after Alize Cornet punished for exposing bra
Murray hints Verdasco is lying in row over coaching after US Open exit
FLAME, SET AND MATCH
Verdasco dumps Murray out of US Open in four sets in red-hot New York
Amazon given hundreds of dire one-star reviews for US Open coverage
Pique gets served
Roger Federer hits out at Gerard Pique over Davis Cup plans
Murray given bloody nose by 10-month-old daughter Edie ahead of US Open clash
Djokovic smashes racket as he battles past Fucsovics in gruelling New York heat