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Tennis

Djokovic cruises into last 16 after second player succumbs to injury

After Mikhail Youzhny retired from their third round match, top seed Novak Djokovic (left) was allowed to hold a practise session on Arthur Ashe stadium with his coach Boris Becker.
After Mikhail Youzhny retired from their third round match, top seed Novak Djokovic (left) was allowed to hold a practise session on Arthur Ashe stadium with his coach Boris Becker. Robert Deutsch/USA Today
2 min

Men's top seed Novak Djokovic eased into the last 16 of the US Open on Friday night after his opponent Mikhail Youzhny retired from their third round match with an injured hamstring. 

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The 34-year-old Russian halted proceedings on Arthur Ashe stadium court with Djokovic leading 4-2 after 32 minutes of play.

On Wednesday, before they even reached the court, Jiri Vesely withdrew from his second round clash with Djokovic with an arm injury.

"I have never had this happen before in my Grand Slam career," said Djokovic after his brief encounter. "Getting a walkover and the next match lasting just half an hour."

The Serb, who is defending champion, was allowed to remain on court and conduct a practice session with his coach Boris Becker to compensate for the lack of action against Youzhny.

Djokovic will next play the unseeded Briton Kyle Edmund who is in the fourth round of a major for the first time. The world number 84 silenced the partisan home crowd with a four-set win over the American John Isner.

Nadal in fourth round

The two-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round for the first time since 2013 - the year of his last New York title - with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.

"Andrey is always a tough opponent. He returns well and has good shots from the baseline," said the fourth seed Nadal who faces France's Lucas Pouille on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals. "I had a fantastic first set, a little trouble with my serve in the second but the third was key so I'm very happy."

Pouille's compatriots, ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 10th seed Gael Monfils are also into the last 16 following straight sets wins over Kevin Anderson and Nicolas Almagro resepectively.

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