In addition, with the win, Djokovic reclaimed the top spot in the ATP world rankings from defending US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz. Djokovic will start a record 390th week at the top of the rankings on 11 September. The Serbian player was not allowed to travel to the US last year. He has not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic, however, had to wait a long time for the match to begin.
Djokovic will be eyeing his fourth US Open title in his 10th appearance. He will also try to make his third career appearance in the finals during the same season (2021 and 2015). Bernabé Zapata Miralles, who beat Ethan Quinn of US, will take on Djokovic in the US Open 2023 second round.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion had to wait through Coco Gauff's three-set victory to open the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, followed by an opening-night ceremony marking 50 years of equal prize money at the US Open 2023. Djokovic celebrated the win happily and expressed his thoughts in on-court interview. "Well, I knew it was going to be a late night for me, late start of the match. Nevertheless, I mean, I was excited to go out on the court. I didn't care if I started after midnight because I was looking forward to this moment for a few years, to be out on the biggest stadium in our sport, the loudest stadium in our sport, playing the night session."
"I think the performance explains how I felt tonight, particularly in the first two sets. It was kind of lights-out tennis really, almost flawless, perfect first set. I've probably had the answer for every shot he had in his book." Djokovic added.