* Djokovic needs 71 minutes to book spot in second round
* Serb says ‘couldn’t ask’ for better start to U.S. Open (Adds quotes)
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Top-seeded world number one Novak Djokovic raced into the second round of the U.S. Open with a 6-1 6-1 6-1 demolition of Joao Souza of Brazil to close Monday’s first day session at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic had to wait in the wings for Venus Williams to complete a two-hour, 40-minute win at Ashe, but once the Serb hit the court he played as if he had a taxi meter running outside the National Tennis Center.
Ones were wild for Djokovic, who won each set 6-1 in a one hour 11 minute romp to victory for the reigning Australian and Wimbledon champion.
“There’s something I love about number one, for sure,” Djokovic told the crowd in an oncourt interview.
Djokovic, who said he is playing with newfound serenity since becoming a father last October, was pleased to have produced such an emphatic opening win.
”I lost three games the entire match against a player I never played against before,“ he said. ”It can always be tricky because you’re approaching the match without really knowing how he’s going to react.
“I couldn’t ask for a better opening of this year’s U.S. Open. Hopefully I can continue in that rhythm.”
Despite going 56-5 this year, Djokovic said a victory like Monday’s can give the nine-times grand slam singles winner a boost.
”With a dominant win like the one today, it adds to your confidence, your self-belief,“ he said. ”It’s also making a statement for everybody that is out there watching. We are all seeing how each other progresses.
“It’s important you’re out on the court with the right intensity and you’re sending a good message, and I’ve done so.”
Djokovic will next meet either Canadian Vasek Pospisil or Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria. (Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)