Djokovic cruises past Berankis
Novak Djokovic eased into the second round of the US Open (AP)
World number one Novak Djokovic eased into the second round of the US Open with an efficient 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory over Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis on Arthur Ashe.
The Serbian, last year's beaten finalist, was not at his absolute best - Berankis created eight break-point opportunities - but nevertheless had far too much for his 23-year-old opponent, seeing him off in an hour and 22 minutes.
Berankis gave the crowd hope they may see a contest by producing a cross-court pass to take the first point of the match, but Djokovic asserted his authority to hold, then broke immediately and ominously.
Berankis was on the brink in his next service game too, but saved a break point via a Hawkeye challenge on a backhand down the line and held to get on the board.
Djokovic broke again in game six though and, despite facing a couple of break points himself, he served out the set.
And there was more of the same in the second set as Berankis simply could not deal with the depth and power of the Djokovic groundstrokes.
Djokovic powered through the set and when he served out to love with another huge forehand, the match was less than 50 minutes old.
Berankis was up against it from the off in the third as he was broken in game one, then threw away a chance on the Djokovic serve by powering a forehand return long.
When the Lithuanian dumped an overhead into the net to give the world number one a 4-0 lead it was symptomatic of his inability to take the chances that came his way, although he was able to finish with a flourish by finally breaking in game six.
Djokovic powered on though and took the next two games to seal a second-round match-up with Benjamin Becker.
Djokovic has had a challenging few months, losing a number of big matches.
In the build-up events he lost close matches to Rafael Nadal and John Isner, so the top seed was delighted to put on such a convincing display.
He said: "I was just very happy with the concentration because I didn't play so well in Montreal and Cincinnati in the warm-up tournaments for the US Open.
"I had 10 days to really give everything I can on the practice courts. I was very committed and put 100% into my preparations. It's starting to pay off.
"Of course, the first match was as good as it could be. Now I need to continue on working and stay on this course."
Djokovic has added Ivan Lendl's former coach, Wojtek Fibak, to his team for the tournament.
He said: "It's kind of a trial in this tournament to see how it goes, how he's going to fit in the team.
"We worked very well the last six, seven days of the preparations for the Open. And tonight's match went really well. He has an important role in the team.
"He's somebody that has huge experience in this sport. He knows a lot of people. He shares a big love and passion for this sport. That's something I'm looking forward to finding out more from him."
Djokovic insisted the decision to bring in Fibak was made by his whole team, saying: "We all agreed that we might need that extra help and consultation.
"Wojtek Fibak was the right person for us at that moment. We will see how it will go during these two weeks."