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Sport Tennis

Djokovic ups play to dismantle Carballes Baena

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was briefly made to work hard by unseeded Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena before sealing a routine 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory and motoring into the French Open third round.


  • May 30 2024
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Djokovic ups play to dismantle Carballes Baena
Djokovic ups play to dismantle Carballes Baena

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was briefly made to work hard by unseeded Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena before sealing a routine 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory and motoring into the French Open third round on Thursday.

Djokovic has been some way from his convincing best in an erratic season where he is bidding to win a record 25th Grand Slam title, and the No. 1 seed from Serbia was dragged into a battle by Carballes Baena after recovering an early break.

Having nosed ahead on serve in the ninth game, Djokovic, 37, set up a break point with a big overhead smash after a 24-shot rally and pounced to take the first set as spectators on Court Philippe Chatrier sensed a return to a more familiar level.

Djokovic moved up a few notches in the next set for a 4-0 lead before Carballes Baena, 31, even got on the board.

The pair's previous two encounters were both at hard-court majors, but the outcome was no different on clay as Djokovic sauntered ahead 5-1 in the third set and wrapped up the victory.

Fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev also reached the third round after his opponent, Miomir Kecmanovic, retired while trailing 6-1, 5-0. The Serbian player decided to quit the match after 55 minutes of play.

Three days after defeating Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Alexander Zverev beat David Goffin 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

"The crowd is always unbelievable in Paris. Since we got the two new roofs, it's even more electric," Zverev said. "When you guys are rooting for me, it's even better."

Zverev will next face Tallon Griekspoor, who defeated Luciano Darderi 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-3.

No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz bounced back from a shaky start to beat American Brandon Nakashima 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the second round. The match, originally scheduled for Wednesday, had multiple rain interruptions.

No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov crushed Fabian Marozsan 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round as matches on outer courts and Court Simonne Mathieu resumed after rain had stopped play.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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