In a thrilling display at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic showcased his composure during the tense tie-breaks to emerge victorious over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round. The determined third seed triumphed with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-2 scoreline after a grueling three-hour and 36-minute battle.
Facing off against the 29th seed, Davidovich Fokina, on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic faced an onslaught of powerful shots throughout the first two exhilarating sets. Despite the challenging opposition, the two-time champion maintained his resilience and ultimately took charge in the third set, securing a hard-fought victory.
Reflecting on the demanding encounter, Djokovic acknowledged the anticipated difficulty of the match, both physically and mentally. Praising his opponent’s impressive skills and tenacity, he commended Davidovich Fokina for his outstanding performance and fighting spirit, recognizing the few weaknesses in his game.
With this win, Djokovic extends his remarkable streak of reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros for the 14th consecutive year. As he continues his pursuit of a record 23rd major title, the Serbian star is also vying for a return to the coveted No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. His next challenge in Paris will come from either the 13th seed, Hubert Hurkacz, or Juan Pablo Varillas.
Acknowledging the significance of a hard-fought victory, Djokovic expressed his satisfaction with his performance. Despite the intense three-hour duration of the first two sets, he emphasized the importance of mental readiness in Grand Slam matches, highlighting the belief in oneself and making the most of the opportunity.
This match against Davidovich Fokina followed a similar pattern to Djokovic’s previous triumph over Marton Fucsovics in the second round. The Serbian ace prevailed in a closely contested tie-break in the opening set against the Hungarian before asserting his dominance to secure a straight-sets win.
In the clash against the Spanish opponent, Djokovic found himself trailing with a break of serve on two occasions in an enthralling first set, as Davidovich Fokina’s powerful shots tested him across the court. However, the Serbian promptly recovered the break in the subsequent games and displayed his exceptional skills in the tie-break, ultimately claiming the set with a breathtaking forehand return winner.
Contrary to any expectations of a diminished challenge from Davidovich Fokina, the determined Spaniard quickly dispelled such notions by taking an early 2-0 lead in the second set. Djokovic, however, showcased his resilience by stringing together four consecutive games to seize the lead. Despite his opponent’s valiant efforts, Davidovich Fokina forced a second-set tie-break.
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Displaying unwavering determination, Djokovic elevated his game during the tie-break, engaging in grueling rallies and pulling ahead. The Serbian maestro’s exhilarating victory in the set was met with a roar of celebration, as he acknowledged the crowd by raising his fist in triumph. Racing through the third set, Djokovic showcased his dominance, striking 11 winners to secure his 23rd win of the year.