Novak Djokovic happy with serve after easing through Melbourne opener

Published: Monday 18th January 2016 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Novak Djokovic hailed the perfect start to his Australian Open campaign after dispatching South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in straight sets, with the Serbian particularly pleased with the way he served.

Chung is considered one of the most talented prospects on the tour but Djokovic made light work of the 19-year-old in the Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-3 6-2 6-4.

Djokovic is gunning for his sixth title in Melbourne this year and having endured temperatures reaching 36 degrees Celsius on Monday, the world number one was happy with his performance.

“You try to stay composed, not get carried away by heat or get distracted,” Djokovic said.

“Of course, there were some long rallies, long exchanges that got both of us a little bit short on air but I think physically I was really good on the court.

“I managed to play the best tennis when I needed to. I think my serve is something that I take out from today’s match as the best part of my game.

“It got me a lot of free points, a lot of winners and aces from that shot. Of course, in days like this, you need to serve well.”

Djokovic, who plays French qualifier Quentin Halys next, could meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals and the Swiss also came through his opening round unscathed after an even more straightforward win over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Federer had been suffering with illness in the build-up to the tournament but the 17-time grand slam champion showed few signs of weakness in a swift 6-2 6-1 6-2 victory.

“That was a good match. I’m really pleased how I was able to play,” Federer said.

“Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence because this year I haven’t been able to play properly yet.

“I had some decent matches in Brisbane, but it was all under sort of a cloud knowing that I wasn’t 100 per cent.

“But this was a match where I was able to focus on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way.”

A tricky second-round encounter with Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov now lies in wait. The canny world number 35 reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2011.

“I think it’s going to be very tough, to be honest,” Federer said.

“I’ve practised with Dolgopolov in the off-season in Dubai. Had some great practice sessions together there, this year and last year. I know him very well.

“This is going to be a different challenge than the first round. This was more of an inexperienced player today, but still dangerous and still a good player.

“But Dolgopolov is a different player, a different level.”

Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori and Nick Kyrgios are all safely through but big-serving Ivo Karlovic, who was due to meet Djokovic in the fourth round, is out after he retired injured.

Published: Monday 18th January 2016 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search