Djokovic's US Open campaign gathers pace

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Novak Djokovic's bid for a record 21st major title that would complete a calendar-year grand slam picked up pace on Thursday as the world No.1 cruised into the US Open third round with a 6-2 6-3 6-2 thrashing of Tallon Griekspoor.

Having shaken off the rust in a spotty four-set opening match against 18-year-old Holger Rune on Tuesday, Djokovic was sharper and much more focused against the 25-year-old Dutchman.

Just like his first-round contest Djokovic dominated early on but this time the 34-year-old Serb never let his foot off the gas as he registered his 77th win at the US Open.

Only three men have won more matches at the US Open - Jimmy Connors (98), Roger Federer (89) and Andre Agassi (79).

Djokovic, playing his first event since the Tokyo Olympics, found the intensity that had been lacking against Rune, speeding through the opening set in 30 minutes.

"I came out on court with the right intensity, the right focus," said Djokovic. "Better definitely than the first-round match.

"It was important I came up with the goods.

"I'm very pleased with the level of my tennis. All is going in the right direction."

Afterwards Djokovic basked in the applause of the crowd, something he had not done for his opening round victory after the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd had roared on his Danish opponent throughout the match.

After beating two young opponents playing in their first US Open main draw, Djokovic next faces Japan's Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up.

Earlier, Alexander Zverev thrashed Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-0 6-3 in a brisk 74 minutes, conserving his energy as he rolled through to the third round.

More than half of the German's serves went unreturned in the lopsided affair, after Zverev got a break to kick off the first set and never let up the momentum.

The world No.4 fired down 11 aces, including three in a row to close out the third set on Arthur Ashe Stadium where he came within two points of triumphing a year ago before losing the final in heartbreaking fashion to Austrian Dominic Thiem.

"It was painful and I still remember it," said the newly crowned Olympic champion.

"I take it as motivation because I'm back here, I have the opportunity to do better."

After picking up Masters titles in Madrid and Cincinnati this year, the 24-year-old is among a cohort of younger players hoping to stop Djokovic

"It's great that I'm through in three sets," said Zverev.

"I will need that energy, I will need the power."

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