Australia’s French Open tennis hopefuls have been handed challenging draws for the clay-court grand slam starting on Sunday in Paris.
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Mens Singles, 2nd Round
Denis Istomin won in 5 sets
Denis Istomin shocked the tennis world with an incredible five-set win over number two seed Novak Djokovic. Check out the incredible highlights in the video.
Novak Djokovic will be expected to ease into the third round of the Australian Open as he squares off against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin on Rod Laver Arena. Join The Roar for live scores from 2.00pm AEDT
After surviving a tough opening round match-up against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, Djokovic should have little trouble against hard-working Istomin tonight.
Istomin is a solid player with a decent backhand but his game doesn’t match up favourably against the complete package that is Djokovic. The Serb’s perfect head-to-head record against the Uzbek player is testament to the fact that Djokovic simply has Istomin covered in all areas of the game.
In his five meetings against Istomin, Djokovic has lost just the one set. Furthermore, Djokovic has already beaten Istomin twice at the Australian Open, with their last meeting at Melbourne Park back in 2014.
For Istomin to have any chance of winning a set, let alone the match, he will have to play ultra aggressively against the finest defensive player in the history of the game. Istomin’s backhand is a solid weapon and it should generate winners for him tonight if he takes the ball early and punishes any short balls that Djokovic offers.
Even if Istomin is at his best, the result of this match rests on Djokovic’s performance. The only factor that could derail Djokovic tonight is hubris. The Serb has every right to feel this match has already been won but a lethargic start could see Istomin grow in belief.
At the end of the day, no one could have predicted that Djokovic would lose to Sam Querrey last year at Wimbledon yet the Serb did. With this in mind, Djokovic can’t afford to produce a flat performance after a solid first-round outing.
Djokovic at his best should stroll into the third round.
Djokovic in straight sets.