‘Feel Good on the Court”: Novak Djokovic Sends Warning to Opponents at French Open 2020

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Unlike the US Open 2020, the French Open 2020 fourth-round did not create any woes for Novak Djokovic as he is through to yet another Grand Slam quarter-final. The world number one overcame a tough opponent in Karen Khachanov, dropping just 11 games in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

With the win, Djokovic reached his 11th consecutive Roland Garros quarter-final, a record that not even Rafael Nadal holds on the Parisian clay. He also reached his 14th quarter-final overall in Paris, tied with Nadal for the same.

Despite the scoreline, Djokovic felt the match was quite challenging. He felt Khachanov matched him on many points. However, he was ready for the challenge.

I think maybe it was more difficult than the result. Three sets to zero, but I think we played point for point, equal, at the end I think I found my serve at the right time. The legs worked well, fast when it was important,” Djokovic said right after the match.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his win at French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – October 5, 2020 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his fourth round match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“Feeling good on the court”

In a warning to the other players in the draw, the top seed expressed he feels good. “It’s not a cliche. Truly I have to look at the next match, on the next opponent. I haven’t lost a set so far, which is good. I feel good on the court. We go,” Djokovic added.

The Serbian superstar has played the drop shot quite extensively this week. “I love the drop but maybe too much’ (smiles),” he said about the same.

Set 1: Khachanov fights but Novak Djokovic puts relentless pressure

The first set saw an inspired Khachanov take up the challenge of facing the 17-time Grand Slam champion, in some style. Both men were very strong behind their serves in the first five games of the match.

In the sixth game, Djokovic expectedly upped the ante and brought up two break points, but Khachanov was up to the task. Djokovic kept the pressure up on Khachanov, holding his serve quite easily. The pressure paid off in the next game as another lengthy game on Khachanov’s serve followed.

Karen Khachanov reacts nervously at French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – October 5, 2020 Russia’s Karen Khachanov reacts during his fourth round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Khachanov again saved two break-points, but as is usually the case with Djokovic, the pressure is relentless. Djokovic pounced on a third opportunity and took a 5-3 lead.

However, Khachanov broke right back. But just when it looked like the Russian would fight further, Djokovic easily broke to take the set.

Set 2 and 3: Djokovic ups the ante despite resistance from Khachanov

Djokovic bagged the break early in the second set and went 4-1 up. This time it was Djokovic’s turn to save break-points, which he did from 0-40 down in the 7th game.

He saved the 4th one and then went 5-2 up. Soon, Djokovic took the set, despite some more resistance from Khachanov towards the end.

In the third set, both players traded a break of serve each in the first four games. Khachanov displayed the fight that Djokovic mentioned, but Djokovic is just too tough to topple when in such command. He earned the decisive break in the seventh game and soon served out the match. The Serb smashed 44 winners on the night.

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