Djokovic made to work for win
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:15
Chardy, at a career-high 68 in the world, went toe-to-toe with the world number three in the early stages of the match before Djokovic’s experience and class told.
The first set took 43 minutes as the players slugged it out, both showing deft touches around the net as well as some lethal ground strokes.
The set went with serve until the 12th match when Djokovic, one of three Serbians in the second round, got the breakthrough, thanks initially to some sloppy play by Chardy.
But having got the game back to deuce, Chardy could not contain the Serb who converted the break point on the first chance he got to take the opening set.
The second set was far more straightforward for Djokovic. He got the crucial breakthrough in the fourth game when Chardy, in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time, fired a backhand into the net.
And the Serb upped the pressure on the Frenchman, who committed nine unforced errors in the set, to take the three remaining games and the set.
Chardy was broken twice early on in the third set as Djokovic, who was far more assured than in his opening match, raced to a 4-0 lead. But the Frenchman dug deep to get back to 5-2 to hand Djokovic the chance to serve out the match.
However, the Serb squandered the opportunity, losing the game to love, but then broke Chardy’s serve for the third time in the set to sew up the match.