World number one Novak Djokovic is "a beast", according to American tennis legend Andy Roddick after his compatriot Jenson Brooksby suffered at his hands in the fourth round of the US Open.
The 20-year-old Brooksby was inspired by a packed crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium and stormed through the opening set in stunning fashion, dropping just a single game as he gave the top seed an early scare.
But Djokovic, as he so often does, simply weathered the storm and ground down his opponent in masterful fashion to eventually secure his place in the quarter-finals with a 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.
ATP Montreal
'I have to follow the rules' - Why Medvedev thinks missing Wimbledon may help for US Open
Brooksby, the world number 99, has a very unusual style of play, which perhaps made life tricky early on for the Serb, but he was typically ruthless and clinical when it really mattered in winning through in two hours 58 minutes.
Djokovic, who will next take on Italian star Matteo Berrettini for a place in the semi-finals, prompted some amusing reaction from Roddick on social media as a result of his play - as did Brooksby with his supreme hitting in the early stages.
First Roddick lauded his fellow American for his first-set onslaught:
He then went as far as to declare his love for another as Brooksby took it to the top seed...
But then he sensed - and just knew - Djokovic would now inflict some serious pain...
As Djokovic slowly turned the screw it turned out he was, of course, right...
The legs and then the soul...
Djokovic, who is chasing the calendar Grand Slam, then responded to Roddick in amusing fashion during his on-court interview.
"Thanks Andy, I take that as a compliment," Djokovic said with a big grin as the crowd laughed along.
"Only the first part, the second part - I don't take anybody's soul. Everyone has their soul, we are all beautiful souls, so I appreciate everyone.
But, I'll take your legs out. That's for sure!
Speak about Brooksby, he said: "He just played a perfect first set and he is very clever. I couldn't do anything. He played a perfect first set. Everything he intended to do he executed it perfectly.
“On my end, I was just trying to find a rhythm, trying to read his game, trying to understand where I can find holes in his game and start to attack and shift the momentum to my side.
“I really wanted him to feel my presence on the court. I wanted the energy to shift to my side because he was a better player for a set and a half. He had the momentum.
“I felt like that was the point where, okay, now I've got him. He also was struggling a little bit physically at one point. I wanted to wear him down and it worked.”

‘Something unbelievable’ – Will Djokovic win 21st Grand Slam?

On facing Berrettini, Djokovic added: "[He’s the] hammer of tennis. Next to [Juan Martin] del Potro, probably the hardest hitter of the serve and forehand. He's got the lethal serve-plus-one game. He's already established as a top player.
"Without a doubt, he played a semi-final here a couple years ago, the final in Wimbledon. That was a tough four-setter. If he serves well, which is his biggest weapon, he's tough. He's tough on any surface to play against.
"I've had some really close matches with him at [Roland Garros] and Wimbledon recently. We're going to play the third Grand Slam in a row against each other. Hopefully the result will be the same as the previous two.”
ATP Washington
Berserker to bonafide contender: Is this the summer of Kyrgios?
Federer at 41: What's next? Will he play the US Open?
08/08/2022 AT 20:33