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Novak Djokovic too good for Aleksandar Kovacevic at French Open

Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

Third seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Aleksandar Kovacevic, making his debut at the French Open, 6-3 6-2 7-6 in the first round in Paris on Monday. The match lasted for two and a quarter hours with Djokovic’s quality proved to be too much for the 24-year-old American despite a late rally from Kovacevic. Djokovic will take on Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the second round on Wednesday.

Kovacevic did not have the weapons to hurt Novak Djokovic:

Kovacevic simply did not have the weapons to breach Djokovic’s defence on the slow Parisian clay. His one-handed slinging backhand is not dissimilar Denis Shapovalov’s, but it looks to less powerful than the Canadian’s, though to his credit the American did managed to drive a few down-the-line backhand winners past Djokovic.

Still, it was mostly a battle of attrition on the red dirt of Paris and very few people have the ability to wear Djokovic down. The 36-year-old Serb broke Kovacevic in the sixth game of the first set, wrapping it up shortly afterwards. He then broke the American in the first game of the second set and then again in the fifth to take a dominant 6-3 6-2 lead.

Djokovic played the angles well as the American fared better in the third set:

Throughout the match, Djokovic troubled his opponent with beautifully-placed angled shots, drawing Kovacevic out of position and leaving him with wide open spaces to hit into. But although the tide of the match was running against him, Kovacevic battled valiantly to keep it competitive. Djokovic broke him twice, but Kovacevic was undeterred and broke back on both occasions to take the set into a tiebreak.

However, the gulf in class between the two was evident tere, as the 22-time Grand Slam champion dropped just one point en route to completing a 6-3 6-2 7-6 win, slapping a clean return winner past Kovacevic to underline his dominance.

Main photo credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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