Flushing Meadows, NY – World No. 1 superstar Novak Djokovic was a straight-set second-round winner Friday at the U.S. Open.
The 2011 U.S. Open champion handled German Benjamin Becker 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour, 51 minutes at Ashe Stadium on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
"Becker is a quality opponent and he should have won the first set," Djokovic said. "I was fortunate enough to come back and win the first set, and after that, I was much more comfortable on the court."
The six-time Grand Slam titlist Djokovic was last year's runner-up to Andy Murray and also lost in finals here in 2007 and 2010.
Djokovic is the reigning Australian Open champ and was last month's runner-up to Murray at Wimbledon. His third-round opponent will be unheralded Portuguese Joao Sousa.
Fifth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych fired 11 aces in dismissing game American Denis Kudla 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. The formidable Czech will battle seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau in his next outing.
Meanwhile, resurgent 12th-seeded 35-year-old German Tommy Haas took care of Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). The one-time world No. 2 Haas is a three-time quarterfinalist in Flushing.
In other second-round action involving seeds, No. 20 Andreas Seppi of Italy bested Indian Somdev Devvarman 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, 7-5, No. 21 Russian Mikhail Youzhny mauled Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-5, 6-1, 6-3, and a No. 31 Benneteau topped fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. The 31-year-old Youzhny is a two-time U.S. Open semifinalist (2006, 2010) and will meet Haas in the round of 32.
Also on Friday, American Tim Smyczek snuck past Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; the aforementioned Sousa outlasted Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Spaniard Marcel Granollers held off American Rajeev Ram 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5; and Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin drubbed German Tobias Kamke 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 at the final Grand Slam event of the year.