eWhat better way to celebrate your thirty-fifth birthday? For his entry into the running at Roland Garros, the world number one won without forcing his talent against Yoshihito Nishioka (6-3, 6-1, 6-0) during a battle in 1h56. Faced with an opponent too limited to make him doubt more than that, the defending champion entered his tournament perfectly by winning the important points at the right time. In the next round, he will face the winner of the duel between Alex Molcan and Federico Coria.
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His victory in Rome was not just an impression. In this clay-court season, Novak Djokovic rose to a crescendo in power to arrive on time for the French Open. Winner in the previous edition, Djoko was keen to find a Grand Slam tournament with style since his lost final at the US Open, it is now done. To do this, the Serb had to face a tougher opponent than the scoreline seems to suggest. Skillful and effective left-hander at the relaunch, Nishioka immediately entered the ball to prove to Djoker that he did not consider the match to be lost in advance.
In this first night session of the fortnight at Porte d’Auteuil, the Japanese got two break points on his opponent’s first service game, without managing to conclude. Despite this, Nishioka held off Djoko until 3-2, 30-A. Then, Djokovic got his first break point and benefited from a double fault from his opponent to break for the first time.
Djokovic even faster than Nadal
After 50 minutes of a good confrontation, Djokovic won in a disputed first round (6-3). The following ? A gradual acceleration of Djokovic in the exchange, forcing Nishioka either to suffer too much from his opponent’s game, or to force himself to attack at the risk of committing faults. Inevitably, the deal changed and Djoko won the first five games of the second set with cold realism. For the honor, Nishioka stopped the negative spiral before seeing his opponent conclude the second set after 1h26 of play (6-1).
The third round was only a formality for the number one seed of the tournament, imperial on his face-off and ruthless in return, leaving no game to nibble on for a Nishioka who undoubtedly deserved a better outing (6 -0). Before facing Nadal in a possible quarter-final, Djokovic spent 6 minutes less than the Spaniard on the court for this first round. Small details, big consequences?
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