Djokovic in cruise mode as he reaches third round
It was dull viewing for the few spectators allowed in to watch the 33-year-old glide effortlessly through
Paris — Top seed Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat in reaching the French Open third round with a 6-1 6-2 6-2 thrashing of outclassed Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.
Some rare sunshine bathed the Court Phillipe Chatrier but it was dull viewing for the few spectators allowed in to watch the 33-year-old glide effortlessly through. The opening set was done and dusted in 22 minutes as Djokovic won the last 10 points, and the second set was only marginally more competitive.
Berankis, ranked 66th, needed courtside treatment on his back before the start of the third set but got back to his feet to endure more punishment from the clinical Serb.
Djokovic, bidding for his second French Open crown and 18th Grand Slam title, has dropped 10 games in two rounds so far and occasionally looked bored on Thursday, taking the opportunity to practise his drop shot on numerous occasions.
He finished it off after only 83 minutes with his 10th ace. It was a carbon copy of the pair’s only other Grand Slam clash when Berankis also managed only five games, at the 2013 US Open.
It was Djokovic’s 70th victory at the French Open, moving him into joint second place on the all-time list with Roger Federer.
In other matches world No 101 Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain stunned Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 8-6 for the biggest win of his career and a spot in the third round at Roland Garros for the first time.
Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin surrendered the opening set before switching gears to beat unseeded Romanian Ana Bogdan 3-6 6-3 6-2 to reach the third round. Joining her was seventh seed Petra Kvitova, who hardly broke a sweat in her 6-3 6-3 win over Italian Jasmine Paolini.
Eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Daria Kasatkina 7-6(6) 6-0 while Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 champion, eased past Italian Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-2 to book a spot in the third round. The unseeded Latvian struck 27 winners and broke second seed Pliskova’s serve five times to register her first victory over the Czech on clay.
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