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 highlights key reasons for Emma Raducanu’s meteoric rise, saying ‘not everyone can do that’
“It wouldn’t surprise me if she picked things up extremely quickly,” says Andy Murray.
Winning US Open was ‘a dream come true’ for Daniil Medvedev, but motivation won’t be lacking in Indian Wells
Daniil Medvedev determined to produce high level at Indian Wells.
Kim Clijsters gives her verdict on Indian Wells defeat as Katerina Siniakova hails ‘really special’ match
“That’s part of this process in general, it’s not going to be a smooth ride,” says Clijsters.
Emma Raducanu determined not to ‘cling on to’ US Open achievement, saying ‘I am still hungry for more’
Emma Raducanu will take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open.
Update on the Andy Murray wedding ring and stinky shoes saga as Scot reveals he is ‘back in the good books’
There was a positive update from Andy Murray.
‘I don’t feel like I need to justify the reasons for why I should get wildcards,’ says Andy Murray
“I don’t make the call,” says Andy Murray.
Stefanos Tsitsipas makes light of his infamous bathroom breaks, but keeps mum about vaccination status
“It’s very dry here. That is good for me because I sweat less.”
Coco Gauff urges Emma Raducanu ‘not to focus on social media as it can be a bit overwhelming’
“Set time aside from the phone,” says Coco Gauff.
WATCH: ‘Idiot’ Andy Murray needs your help as he lost his ‘sweaty and smelly shoes’ with his wedding ring
Do you know where Andy Murray’s shoes and wedding ring are?
Sloane Stephens ‘pleased to have squeaked out a win’ over good friend Heather Watson at Indian Wells
Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens battled back to progress.