DEFENDING champion and world No1 Novak Djokovic struggled in the opening stanza of his US Open campaign, beating Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in four sets but frequently showing signs of arm pain.
The Serb, who unexpectedly crashed out of Wimbledon in the third round, hit first-serves at well below his average speed and needed a trainer on to massage the bothersome limb throughout the game.
His Wimbledon exit ended the 29-year-old’s bid to secure a 2016 calendar-year grand slam after a lengthy period of imperial dominance and Djokovic also suffered at the hands of Juan Martin del Potro in the first round of the Olympic Games.
The other big news from day one at the Open saw young British talent Kyle Edmunds defeat 13th seed Richard Gasquet in a smooth straight sets victory.
The 21-year-old South African-born star, who moved to Yorkshire as a three-year-old, is rated No84 in the world but is widely tipped to take Andy Murray’s mantle once the veteran Scot winds down his career.