FRANCE: On Monday at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic dispatched Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(1) on Courtroom Philippe Chatrier, giving his quest for a record-breaking twenty third main title an imperious begin.
In his Grand Slam predominant draw debut, Kovacevic acquired off to a assured begin, however after Djokovic broke him within the sixth sport of the set, he was unable to carry again his legendary opponent.
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Regardless of a third-set comeback by the American, who went from 3-5 to pressure a tie-break, Djokovic held on to seal a first-round victory wherein he transformed 5 of his 12 break factors and hit 41 winners to Kovacevic’s 25.
In his post-match press convention, Djokovic stated, “I feel I performed very well and held issues below management for 2 and a half units after which misplaced my serve and issues acquired a bit bit on the incorrect facet for me. However, , I managed to carry my nerves and performed just about an ideal tie-break.”
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“So total [I am] happy and content material with my stage. I can all the time play higher; I do know I can do it, however contemplating the circumstances, they had been fairly difficult right now with lots of wind. It was a superb match,” he added.
The world’s No. 114, Kovacevic, who as a teen idolised Djokovic and posed for a photograph with the Serbian on the 2005 US Open when he was seven years outdated, displayed glimmers of his best play all through the 2 hours and 26 minutes of play. Nonetheless, he was unable to match Djokovic’s consistency from the baseline and was helpless in opposition to the third seed’s deadly return.
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“He performed very well, and he was dealing with himself very properly there mentally, hanging in there,” Djokovic began, including that “I served for the match; he broke me. I imply, credit score to him for his combating spirit.”
Regardless of his unusual slip-up within the third set, Djokovic in any other case performed properly all through his triumph. He received 82% (37/45) of the factors behind his first serve within the sport by hanging his groundstrokes cleanly from each wings.
Djokovic, a two-time Roland Garros champion, can cross Rafael Nadal within the race for Grand Slam victories together with his second main victory of the 12 months in Paris (he beforehand received on the Australian Open in January). He’ll face Marton Fucsovics, the world’s 83rd-ranked participant, within the second spherical of the match within the French capital.
A 3rd victory in Paris would assure Djokovic’s return to No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after Carlos Alcaraz usurped him three weeks in the past. The 36-year-old has now received 86 matches at Roland Garros, second solely to Nadal’s 112 victories there.
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