French Open 2016: Djokovic stopped by rain against Bautista Agut

The players had to battle through treacherous conditions in their fourth round clash.

French Open 2016: Djokovic stopped by rain against Bautista Agut
Djokovic was dealt an early shock by the Spaniard. (Photo: Eurosport)

Novak Djokovic had to battle through treacherous conditions in his fourth round match at the French Open, before continuous rain stopped play for the second time at Roland Garros.

The world number one dropped his first set of the tournament against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, before levelling the match at a set apiece.

The Serb led 3-6 6-4 4-2 when the players were called off court due to persistent rain in the French capital.

With no more play having taken place, the match has been held over until tomorrow.

The tournament is already a day behind after yesterday’s schedule was cancelled due to a total wash out.

Bautista Agut threatens early on 

After a break of serve in the opening game for the world number one, many were given the impression that the contest would be rather one sided.

Even so, two double faults from Djokovic in the very next game allowed Bautista Agut to cancel the advantage out immediately.

The rain was still drizzling when the players arrived on court and the heavy clumpy clay formed tricky conditions and lengthy exchanges from the back of the court.

That evidently helped Bautista Agut, who moved 4-2 ahead with some exquisite defensive play and low trajectory shots which kept Djokovic guessing.

Nonetheless, the Serb was clearly not himself and made some uncharacteristic errors which he would usually make in his sleep.

With the first set on the line and the prospect of having to play four matches in six days, Djokovic appeared to revert to his survival mode and battened down the hatches to snatch the break back.

However, clearly sensing his opportunity, Bautista Agut broke serve again to lead 5-3, before serving out the opening set which took 37 minutes.

Djokovic endured a tough start to the match, but narrowly leads after it was stopped. (Photo: Getty)
Djokovic endured a tough start to the match, but narrowly leads after it was stopped. (Photo: Getty)

Rain stops play for the first time

By this stage, the rain had picked up even more and there was no choice but to suspend play.

When they resumed two hours later, Djokovic was striking the ball with more intent and purpose as he tried to adjust to the demanding environment.

Bautista Agut continued to apply scoreboard pressure and twice held serve from 15-40 down after the resumption.

Djokovic did well to keep his emotions in check, as the Spaniard responded every time the top seed appeared to be pulling away.

In one game the Serb snapped a string on his racquet twice before losing serve, and he could have been forgiven for thinking things were conspiring against him.

Djokovic regains control

Bautista Agut battled hard and endlessly chased down ball after ball as Djokovic started to pull him from pillar to post.

Even so, after levelling the match at a set apiece, Djokovic managed to clinch a break at the start of the third and managed to wrestle back momentum before they were stopped again at 4-2.