Novak Djokovic after latest French Open milestone: ‘Of course it makes me proud’
Novak Djokovic hit another milestone with his 70th victory at Roland Garros.
The world No 1 polished off a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in just an hour and 23 minutes and has dropped only 10 games in reaching the third round.
Djokovic has now tied Roger Federer for match wins at the French Open and trails only Rafael Nadal, while he is the only man other than Federer to win at least 70 matches at each of the four slams.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) October 1, 2020
The Serbian, who next faces lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan, said: “Grand slams are obviously the biggest tournaments in our sport. Historically, they count the most. So, of course, winning that many matches in each slam is a great achievement, and of course it makes me proud, makes me happy.
“Over the two weeks it takes a lot of energy and effort to invest into winning a grand slam. It’s kind of a confirmation for me that I have been able to play my best tennis throughout my career in the biggest tournaments.”
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to recover from two sets down to win in the first round but was much more impressive against Pablo Cuevas, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2 with an exuberant performance.
Ninth seed Denis Shapovalov suffered a painful loss to Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena, though, going down 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-3 3-6 8-6 after exactly five hours, having served for the match twice in the deciding set.
Shapovalov sustained a hamstring injury and made 106 unforced errors, but was still proud of his efforts in tricky conditions.
He said: “Honestly I feel like the conditions were as tough as possible for me to play against here, with the balls being just so heavy and it being really cold. I play an aggressive game, I like to step in, and he just had so much time. So it was very difficult.
“I’m really happy that I was able to bring myself to a winning position, and then in the end it’s just a little bit unlucky. I think I did everything right, it just didn’t go my way today.”
The young Canadian’s mood would not have improved when he learned that HawkEye, which is not used at the tournament, showed a return from Carballes Baena was out that would have given him match point.
Shapovalov has not been impressed with the organisation of the tournament in general and hit out at the supposedly-secure player bubble as well as the scheduling.
He said: “Honestly I think they’re not doing a good job. There’s really no bubble, especially in the second hotel, I heard. Scheduling is absolutely awful. After a five-hour match I have to play doubles now. It’s just complete trash scheduling.”
Karen Khachanov did not allow a Twitter spat with Nick Kyrgios to derail him as he ground out a 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-7), 7-6 (7-2) victory over Jiri Vesely.
Picture books don’t count 👍🏽👏🏽 judging from how you constructed this sentence. https://t.co/tSIvadH66K
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 30, 2020
Khachanov weighed in after Kyrgios strongly criticised Mats Wilander for claiming Andy Murray should not be taking wild cards and received a verbal serve from the Australian.
Khachanov said: “I don’t have any problem with Nick. I always said that I respect him. I don’t know why he acts sometimes the way he acts. I wanted to be more polite just to explain also my opinion. But maybe just I want to let it go and that’s it.”
Carballes Baena will next take on 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who was a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 winner against Andrej Martin.
Cameron Norrie inspired by Emma Raducanu’s US Open win, but says it’s ’50-50′ about which story is more believable
Emma Raducanu “inspired me a little bit, that was crazy”, says Cameron Norrie.
Andy Murray backs Kim Clijsters to win at highest level again with Scot impressed by her ball-striking
“I’m sure she can still win matches at the highest level.”
Novak Djokovic reveals ‘I still don’t know if I will’ play in Australian Open as he vows to stay mum over vaccine status
Questions over Djokovic’s participation in Aus Open.
Unvaccinated tennis players warned they are unlikely to receive visas for the 2022 Australian Open
Victoria has a vaccination mandate for professional athletes.
ATP Rankings: Roger Federer out of the top 10, Cameron Norrie into top 20, Andy Murray plunges
This week’s ATP Rankings update.
Cameron Norrie ‘a great example for not just British players but all tennis players’, says Andy Murray
Cameron Norrie has climbed to 15th in the ATP Rankings after winning the BNP Paribas Open.
Paula Badosa’s classy tribute to Victoria Azarenka: ‘I wouldn’t be here without women like you’
“Thank you for inspiring me so much.”
Former British No 1s lead Cameron Norrie plaudits, saying ‘it doesn’t get much better than this’ for GB tennis
From wondering to what would happen when Andy Murray retired to having a first-ever men’s champion in Indian Wells.
The rise of Cameron Norrie: From feeling tennis was ‘too much’ to being Britain’s new leading man
Cameron Norrie has had a rise to prominence in 2021.
Filip Krajinovic reveals Novak Djokovic will play in Davis Cup Finals as they have ‘an agreement to play’
Novak Djokovic to feature at 2021 Davis Cup Finals?