Djokovic crusies to third round in 90 minutes

Djokovic crusies to third round in 90 minutes

Top seed and four-time champion Novak Djokovic lost just five games as he cruised into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

World number one Djokovic thrashed Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes, with all three singles matches on Rod Laver Arena completed so quickly that a men’s doubles match was hastily added to the day schedule.

Djokovic won the first nine games against a hopelessly outclassed Kuznetsov, who received a sympathetic cheer when he finally troubled the scorers in the fourth game of the second set.

The former Wimbledon boys’ champion at least had the temerity to break Djokovic at the start of the third, but normal service was instantly resumed and Djokovic closed out the match in ruthless fashion.

“After my first-round match I was hoping to have this kind of performance, especially the opening two sets,” Djokovic said. “Everything went as I planned and wished and hopefully I can stay on this path.

“(Kuznetsov) is a very talented player. He’s still young and he’s of the generation of my younger brother (Marko) who knows him well, so I spoke to him because I had not seen Kuznetsov play a lot.”

Djokovic has dropped just two sets over the first and second rounds since 2007, winning his first title at Melbourne Park in 2008 and lifting the trophy three years in succession from 2011.

“Generally this is my most successful grand slam and the tournament where over the years I’ve performed my best tennis,” the 27-year-old said. “The reason? I think there is not one reason. A few reasons together.

“Probably the fact that I enjoy the conditions of play. Even though the last two years the courts have played faster, significantly faster than they were before, still I do enjoy being here in Australia. Some nice, positive, easy-going, sport-oriented energy going around. People appreciate the sport and make you feel good.

“Of course it’s the beginning of the year. It’s the first big tournament. Everybody comes fresh and motivated. I guess in this kind of package it’s a combination of things that make me feel comfortable on the court here.”

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who ended Djokovic’s 25-match unbeaten run here in the quarter-finals last year, also safely reached the last 32, but needed two hours and 16 minutes to finally subdue the resistance of Romanian qualifier Marius Copil.

The first two sets took longer to complete than Djokovic’s entire match as they lasted an hour and 35 minutes, with Wawrinka winning both in tie-breaks before taking the third set 6-3.

“It was quite a tough match,” fourth seed Wawrinka said. “I’m happy to get through, especially in three sets.

“The conditions weren’t easy today. Quite hot. Really fast on the court. And he was playing great. He was serving big, putting lots of pressure. I wasn’t playing my best tennis, but I’m happy the way I fight today and the way I did with the match.

“I’m happy with my game in general. To win the two first matches in three sets, it’s great. I’m playing great tennis. As I say, if you want to get far in the tournament, it can be two long weeks. So you need to be ready to have some ups and downs. So far it’s been good tennis. I’m happy.”

Wawrinka will face Jarkko Nieminen in the third round after the Finn defeated German qualifier Matthias Bachinger in straight sets, with fifth seed Kei Nishikori taking on American Steve Johnson after coming from a set down to beat Croatia’s Ivan Dodig.

More in this Section

Wild card Suzann Pettersen holes winning putt as Europe regain Solheim CupWild card Suzann Pettersen holes winning putt as Europe regain Solheim Cup

Watford hit back from two behind to draw with Arsenal on Flores’ returnWatford hit back from two behind to draw with Arsenal on Flores’ return

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Sergio Garcia holds on to claim KLM OpenSergio Garcia holds on to claim KLM Open


Lifestyle

I’m giggling but also it is tinged with tension. I peep out from behind the large sycamore. They are three trees away.Opening Lines: I’m just a bearded wheezing giggly man on the ground

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

That an American study has found straight women prefer dad bods (“an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one that is considered attractive”) to six packs and hard shiny abs comes as no great surprise.Outside the Box: Tone down guys, us girls don’t mind moobs

More From The Irish Examiner