Novak Djokovic calls for a sick bucket as he battles heat exhaustion… before mid-match ice bath helps him power past Marton Fucsovics at US Open
- Novak Djokovic overcame heat exhaustion to beat Marton Fucsovics on Tuesday
- At one point the Serb asked for a bin to be placed by his chair in case he vomited
- Both players had an ice bath during a brief break between sets three and four
- It seemed to help Djokovic who prevailed 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0 to reach round two
Novak Djokovic managed to escape into the US Open second round – despite being so uncomfortable in the heat that he asked for a bin to be placed near him in case he threw up.
The No 6 seed and many people’s favourite for the title looked in desperate trouble in the second and third sets before coming back to beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0 in two hours and 59 minutes.
Despite winning the first set, Djokovic — who earlier in his career frequently struggled with heat — was clearly uncomfortable and at times looked like he might almost topple over with heat exhaustion. He asked for a receptacle to be placed near his chair in the second set.
Novak Djokovic struggled with heat exhaustion during his first-round win at the US Open
At one point during his opener he asked for a bin to be placed by his chair in case he vomited
Marton Fucsovics also found it difficult to deal with the extreme heat in New York on Tuesday
His biggest crisis came at 4-2 in the third set but, in an example of what separates the top players from the rest, Fucsovics was not able to drive home the advantage.
He lost the next four games and began to look increasingly uneasy himself in the heat and humidity.
A newly instated heat rule for the men allowed a ten-minute break after the third set and from then on Djokovic romped home and he was all smiles by the end.
‘We obviously both struggled,’ said Djokovic. ‘Towards the end of the third set I hit the ball a bit better, before that it was survival mode.
‘I was praying that the next moment I would feel better as I wasn’t feeling great for the three sets. A lot of players struggled today but I will take this win.’
Djokovic also revealed that in the 10-minute break both players took an ice bath in the locker room.
Jelena Djokovic looked more comfortable than the players as she watched from the stands
Djokovic celebrated after storming through the final set to win 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0 in three hours
Djokovic revealed that both he and Fucsovics had an ice bath between the third and fourth set