“Grand Slam without drama (smiles), I don’t think it can happen for me. I think he drives me too”, Novak Djokovic said after defeating Hungarian Marton Fuksovics last Wednesday. This Friday he showed it again against Alejandro Davidovich. The Serb survived pain in his left thigh (Australian Open), the animosity of the public that mostly supported his opponent and the superb play that the Spaniard put in, especially in the first two sets, which lasted two hours and 53 minutes, and separate tiebreakers. In the end, 7–6(4), 7–6(5) and 6–2 in 3h36, and Djokovic’s qualification for the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the 14th consecutive time, the 21st time in four Grand Slams. He has not failed since losing in the second round of the Australian Open in 2017. His opponent on Sunday will be Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, who stunned Polish Hubert Hercz (3-6, 6-3, 7-6) (3), 4-6 and 6-2 in 3h51).
“He is an amazing fighter, a great player, without many weaknesses in his game, so I congratulate him, great game,” said the world number three about the man from Malaga. “A win is a win, but little more after those two sets that went on for three hours. Had he lost second, he could have played five. But you have to be prepared, that’s what Grand Slams are about, five sets, matches on the slowest surfaces in the game… It’s a great effort, but we all have to believe in ourselves and try to do the best we can. we can . So I am proud of my performance.”
She had reasons to be happy because, despite not having a great game, she demonstrated her immense competitive ability to outlast Davidovich, who had beaten her in Monte Carlo last year, and she had a plan. Tactically, he was getting ahead of him with high balls so that the Balkan could not comfortably execute his masterful backhand. But it is very difficult to beat Djokovic in tie break. Alex gave it a try and, perhaps, he deserves an award in the form of a set, as his approach and the generosity of his effort were commendable. His 51 “unforced” errors punished him in citations of his opponent’s greatness.
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Plus, he tackled the drama that Novak brings to the track. His celebration after winning the second set, for example, was excessive and disrespectful to his opponent. He was really mad and booed. Also, he requested a medical death time which was also not welcomed by the audience, although he was fully entitled to request it. He responded by raising the thumb of his right hand and shaking his head sarcastically. “Sometimes you need physio, other times you need to take medicine and sometimes you surrender yourself to God to help you,” he said at a press conference, in which he reprimanded him. Walon criticized: “It’s something I find outrageous and, frankly, I don’t understand. But they paid admission. They can do whatever they want.”
Whatever the case, those first two sets were great matches with great exchanges, great shots and tremendous movement on the court by both. Because Djokovic has shown with his famous resilience on a high percentage of performances despite these discomforts that he is huge in that sense. The question is whether he will be able to maintain that energy as he did in Australia, in a tournament where points are sometimes eternal. “My body is reacting differently than it was a few years ago. I have to adapt to this new reality. But in the end I managed to finish the match. There is no clear end in my mind, but as long as it Momentum is there, as long as I’m able to push myself daily to have clear goals and objectives, and things that really motivate me to get back on my goal foot every day, I’ll keep going.” we will see.