NEW YORK (AP) — Showing the kind of beginning-to-end focus he'll need to win the U. S. Open, top-seeded Novak Djokovic strung together 13 straight games Tuesday to close out a 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of Marcel Granollers and advance to his 18th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal.
"Today, second and third set have been some of the best tennis that I've played on Arthur Ashe in my career," said Djokovic, who has made the final here the last three years and won it in 2011.
"It all comes at a great time for me. It was something I was wishing to be more aggressive as the tournament progresses and to be able to stay committed to play every point, to win every point, regardless of the score."
The match took 79 minutes against Granollers, who was on court for nearly 3½ hours two days before in a five-set win over Tim Smyczek.
"Even if I go three sets in the three matches before, is difficult to beat Nole," Granollers said. "It's a very difficult match for me."
Over the final two sets, Djokovic had embarrassingly large advantages in points (50-15) and winners (22-3), and he even won on 21 of 22 moves up to net, which isn't his normal style.
"That's one of the things on the practice agenda," Djokovic said.
It looked and felt like practice, with Granollers playing the part of the hitting partner.
He lost the first 25 points on Djokovic's serve. When he finally broke through, to make it 15-15 in the third game of the second set, the Spaniard acknowledged the win by lifting his index finger and signaling to his players' box.
"Nothing was working for me to even think I could have turned it around," Granollers said. "He was just too good."
Granollers only got 48 percent of his first serves in, which took away any chance he had of making this a competitive match.
"That's too little playing against the number one in the world," he said.
Djokovic has spent a total of 5 hours, 42 minutes on court without dropping a set. He has lost more than three games in any single set only once, against Benjamin Becker, who actually had a pair of set points in the first set of their second-round match, but lost them both.
Djokovic's next opponent is Mikhail Youzhny, who will also be coming off a five-setter that lasted two minutes short of four hours.
"It's all coming together for me right now," he said. "I'm aware of the fact that as the tournament goes on I'm going to have bigger challenges, better quality players, higher ranked players, but I'm ready for that challenge. I look forward to it."