After a little over two hours of play, Novak Djokovic sealed a confidence-boosting straightforward victory over the dangerous Joao Sousa in the second round of the French Open and edged closer for yet another deep run in Paris.
Djokovic strolls to the opening set
Djokovic had the best possible start to the match as he had a comfortable service hold in the opening game, winning four straight points to get the hold. Some strong play from the Serbian then continued his fast start, breaking serve to get the early lead. Sousa’s rout continued when Djokovic managed to get through a tricky service game to consolidate the break and extend his lead to three games, looking at his best.
Djokovic maintained the high quality of play, breaking serve yet again and continued to stroll through the match. An easy service hold brought Djokovic a game closer to winning the first set, looking in his peak form as he opened up a 5-0 lead. Having the golden opportunity to whitewash Sousa, the world number two failed to convert two set points on his opponent’s serve.
Some excellent forehands helped the Portuguese hold serve for the first time and get him on the scoreboard as he managed to save some embarrassment to prevent the bagel. Nevertheless, Djokovic was not affected by the loss of the game as he still managed to comfortably serve the first set out after just 29 minutes, and seemed to be strolling to the win.
Djokovic fends off tough resistance
Sousa had an encouraging start to the second set, targeting the Djokovic backhand as he successfully took the lead for the first time in the match. The former world number one proved that he could do better when he secured his service game with a hold to love, leveling the scores. Djokovic then prevailed in a tough return game, making the first breakthrough in the second set as he took the lead.
Unexpectedly, Sousa made an immediate reply as he took advantage of some inconsistent serving from Djokovic, breaking straight back to return level. The Serbian did not look affected at all as he regained the lead, utilizing some powerful groundstrokes to break serve once more. This time, he consolidated the break with an easy service hold concluded with a service winner.
Determined to keep the scores close, Sousa put in some great serving to lessen the deficit to just one game, but Djokovic got himself just one game away from leading by two sets as he held his serve to love. The 12-time Grand Slam champion did not disappoint, eventually serving out the set without any problems.
Djokovic steers his way to victory
Similar to the second set, Sousa opened the third set with a comfortable service hold. Djokovic followed it up with a commanding ace on game point to seal the hold of serve, stamping his authority and preventing Sousa from having any free chances. The string of service holds continued until the seventh game where the first break of serve finally arrived upon us as Djokovic took advantage of a loose service game by Sousa at the critical moment, making the first breakthrough before consolidating it to lead 5-3 in the third set and be just one game away from the win. Winning his fourth straight game, Djokovic stepped up his game and went all out, sealing the match on his second match point.