‘Conditions were not easy’ – Novak Djokovic battles to French Open victory
World number one Novak Djokovic has battled to a straight sets victory in gusty conditions over Slovakia’s Alex Molcan to reach the third round of the French Open.
After a turbulent start to the year, in which he was deported from Australia and forced to sit out the Sunshine Double events, Djokovic’s fitness and sharpness has improved through the European clay court swing.
Earlier this month, the 20-time Grand Slam winner impressed after winning a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title in Rome, suggesting he was hitting top form ahead of Roland Garros.
The Serbian has continued his great form into the Paris Slam as Yoshihito Nishioka took only four games off Djokovic in the first round.
However, Alex Molcan was a tougher examination for the world number one.
Djokovic stormed the opening two sets, with Molcan having no reply to the Serb’s powerful baseline hitting.
The 24-year-old’s race looked run as he was broken at the start of the third set.
Yet, the man coached by Djokovic’s former coach Marian Vajda, rallied as he broke back the two-time French Open champion and forced a third set tie-break.
Despite the momentum swaying in Molcan’s favor ahead of the tie-break, Djokovic upped his game and held his nerve to seal a 6-2 6-3 7-6(4) win.
Reflecting on the match, Djokovic admitted that it was “not easy” due to the adverse weather conditions.
Djokovic told reporters in a recent interview, “It was a difficult match. The conditions were not easy.
“There was a lot of wind and it changed direction a lot.
“It meant that I had to concentrate a lot and I had to adapt a lot because the speed of the ball changed a lot during the match.”
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