Novak Djokovic is in cruise control as he opens his bid for the Nole Slam in Paris.
Novak Djokovic has lost eight games in each of his first two matches in Paris, and after today’s second-round win over Henri Laaksonen he is looking primed to make a run at the Nole Slam.
Here are five takeaways from Djokovic’s first two matches.
Everything’s Working, but He’s Not Working Hard
Djokovic has been pretty much flawless in his first two rounds and he has not even needed to step it up and raise his level. He has spent 3:09 on court and won 82 percent of his first-serve points along with 63 percent of his second-serve points. Occasionally the World No.1 has made incredible shots on the stretch or made ridiculous backhand winners, but most important is the fact that Djokovic has not let either of his opponents threaten him in a single set. Energy saved is energy that can be used in the later rounds, and so far Djokovic is running with a full tank.
Caruso Next Could be a Blessing
The draw is being kind to Djokovic and he is playing the type of tennis to take advantage. He’ll face Salvatore Caruso, an Italian qualifier, next. That could be his last chance to saunter through a match as Borna Coric could be his round of 16 opponent—so Djokovic would be wise to come out focus and finish his first week with another blowout.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking – we have lift off. ✈️🎾
📷 Sindy Thomas pic.twitter.com/wcO81E1GET
— ASICS Tennis (@ASICSTennis) May 30, 2019
Stefan’s in the House!
After his win out on Court Suzanne Lenglen Djokovic said in his on-court interview that it was a very special day for him because it was the first time that his son Stefan had watched a full match of his. "It's a very special day for me as it's the first time in my life that I have played in front of my son," said Djokovic in French to the crowd. “He showed incredible patience to sit there for an hour and a half. Usually, he's not that patient with tennis."
Those who recall how important Stefan was to Djokovic at Wimbledon last year, know that this is a sign of how switched on he is spiritually as he ramps up his quest.
Dominic Thiem lost another set today, and he’s going to face a very skilled clay-courter in Pablo Cuevas next. That contest will likely be followed by a round of 16 encounter with Gael Monfils. Theim’s more than fit enough to handle it, but it looks like if the potential semi-final between Djokovic and Thiem occurs, Djokovic will be the far fresher player. At a tournament where margins are razor thin and every edge makes a difference, this can only be good news for Novak Djokovic.
Running through the Gears…
Djokovic is a race car no doubt, but he hasn’t taken off too much tread from his tires here in Paris (just like Nadal and Federer). Heck he has barely gotten out of third gear in his first two matches. He’ll want to do that at some point, at least for a spell for a few tense games, before he takes part in the marquee matchups that are sure to crystallize in week two, but for now everything is setting up perfectly. Djokovic is conserving energy and in cruise control after two rounds in Paris.
“Just two very solid matches,” Djokovic told reporters on Thursday in Paris. “I didn't drop the level too much. Maybe a few games in every — the first two matches, I had maybe a little drop of concentration where I lost my serve, but other than that, very solid, as I played as much as I need to play to win in straight sets. Didn't spend too much time on the court. So all is going in the right direction.”