Djokovic overcomes ‘brutal’ heat and Monfils
Novak Djokovic had to come from a set down to beat Gael Monfils in hot and humid conditions at the Australian Open.
With temperatures reaching 39.9 degrees Celsius, both players struggled with the conditions and it was Djokovic who eventually ran out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 winner.
The six-time champion, though, didn’t get off to the best of starts as he lost his first two service games, but he won the next three to pull level at 3-3.
However, Monfils hit back for another break and eventually won the set 6-4.
Djokovic levelled things courtesy a break in the eighth game of the second set while his French opponent fell away quite badly in the third as he won just one of his four service games.
The fourth set was another straightforward affair for Djokovic as he broke in the eighth game again to secure the win in two hours and 47 minutes.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2018
Monfils needed treatment in the second set after complaining that he felt dizzy and Djokovic admitted conditions were tough out.
“We both suffered on the court today. Really tough conditions, brutal – especially for the first hour and a half. I was coming into the match knowing it was going to be a big challenge for both of us,” he said.
“Gael is one of the best athletes in our sport, maybe the best athlete, he gets a lot of balls back and has a big serve. I was just hanging in there trying to make the most of opportunities.
“Obviously he wasn’t at his best at the end of the second set and into the third. The fourth could have gone either away but it’s great to be back at the Rod Laver Arena.
“The elbow is not at 100 per cent but it’s building. I had a lot of faith and self-belief and I know what I’m capable of. It’s always amazing playing on this court. This has been the single most successful court I’ve ever played on in my entire career.”
Djokovic will take on 21st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas from Spain in the third round.
Andy Murray’s tips on how to make sure you stay injury-free when tennis resumes after lockdown
Andy Murray is back with some tips.
WATCH: Kei Nishikori reveals he wanted to be a penguin when he was young
Kei Nishikori with some quality content.
‘He will play top-level tennis again because he is that good’ – Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return
Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 oldest WTA singles champions: Billie Jean King top, but Venus and/or Serena Williams could pip her
A look at your oldest WTA singles title winners.
Serena Williams and her ‘mini-me’ Olympia wear matching catsuits in debut joint fashion campaign
“The adventures of Serena and Olympia continue…”
WATCH: Benoit Paire argues with umpire, spits on mark, crashes out and then Tweets ‘it’s worth it to suck’
Benoit Paire makes controversial exit.
‘Proud’ Victoria Azarenka battles through the pain to beat Elina Svitolina at Qatar Open
Victoria Azarenka gets the better of Elina Svitolina.
Stefanos Tsitsipas impresses in Rotterdam to set up Karen Khachanov clash
Stefanos Tsitsipas retained hopes of a first ATP 500 title.
Comment: Why Andy Murray needs to identify the positives in defeat against Andrey Rublev
A win against a top 10 player will kick-start Murray’s 2021.
Iga Swiatek keeps rising and has the potential to become a dominant figure on the WTA Tour
Oli Jefford on Iga Swiatek’s rise.