New York: Always eager to entertain U.S. Open fans with more than his tennis skills, Novak Djokovic dusted off some dance moves this time.
Djokovic cut a rug on court while music blared over the Arthur Ashe Stadium loudspeakers on Saturday night after he improved to 60-2 in 2011 by beating 39th-ranked Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
During his post-match interview, Djokovic decided to change the subject and make note of someone in the stands who'd been grooving to songs played during changeovers.
"Need to congratulate the dancer up there. He was amazing. Let's just talk about him. ... Leave tennis aside. You, man, you can dance. Really. Unbelievable," Djokovic said.
And that's when the 24-year-old Serb requested some music so he could dance a bit, too.
It's the sort of extroverted display that Djokovic has engaged in during past U.S. Opens. After one match, he demonstrated his spot-on impersonations of other top players, including Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal. After another, he played some points for fun with seven-time major champion John McEnroe.
Djokovic is nothing but serious when it comes to his tennis, though. Especially this season.
The top-seeded Djokovic is trying to win his third Grand Slam championship of the year and fourth of his career.
He's seeking his first title at the U.S. Open, where he was the runner-up to Roger Federer in 2007 and to Nadal last year.
"I know most people expect top players to get to the late stages of the tournament, so there's extra pressure on us," Djokovic said. "But it's a challenge we're ready to accept. This is what we work all our lives for, to be on this court."
Davydenko is a four-time major semifinalist, including twice at the U.S. Open, but he wasn't able to provide too much resistance against Djokovic on Saturday.
Next up for Djokovic is a match against 22nd-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, who eliminated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.