Djokovic battles on
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:01
The 22-year-old, who won at Melbourne Park two years ago, dropped the first set on Rod Laver Arena before responding in emphatic style to win 3-6 6-1 6-1 6-3.
Djokovic will next meet Denis Istomin, the world 103, after the Uzbek surprised Michael Berrer 7-5 6-3 6-4 earlier on Thursday.
Chiudinelli was the big improver of 2009 when he made a massive rankings leap of over 700 places to a career-high 56 and the 28-year-old Swiss looked intent on continuing his rise as he took the opening set against Djokovic in 48 minutes.
He twice broke his more-fancied rival who cut a frustrated figure as he racked up 16 unforced errors.
Chiudinelli then had the chance to break in Djokovic’s first service game of the second set, but the Serb fended it off with a backhand passing shot.
It drew an animated celebration from Djokovic, who turned to his courtside entourage with a fist-pump, as he looked to inspire himself into action.
A poor service game from Chuidinelli helped Djokovic recover further as he took the break to go 3-1 ahead and quickly level at a set apiece.
Chiudinelli called for the trainer during the third set as he seemed to suffer from an ankle injury and sensing his opponent was struggling Djokovic increased the aggression of his strokeplay.
The Swiss had no answers for Djokovic’s 58 winners thereafter and, while the third seed mixed that with 61 unforced errors, it was enough to send him through.