Although Novak Djokovic will be hungry to finally lift the only Masters 1000 title that has alluded him in his illustrious career, he will need to play better than he did in his opening match when he faces Spain’s Tommy Robredo in the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Check out the Djokovic vs Robredo Head to Head.
It was far from the best of starts for Djokovic. The Serbian star had a shaky start against Gilles Simon and was eventually forced to contest a rollercoaster three-set match-up that ended 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Djokovic went down a break early in the opening set but quickly recovered to reel off four consecutive games to close out the set. The second set would present a far more turbulent affair, as Simon began to serve better and broke back after Djokovic hit several uncharacteristic unforced errors in a row. Soon afterwards, the top seed had dropped the second set and was forced to contest a decider.
As was typical of Djokovic, he began the third set far differently than he ended the second set and immediately pressured Simon to get the early break of serve. While he had six opportunities to get the break, he was unable to convert and allowed Simon to get on the scoreboard first. This only allowed Simon to grow in confidence and he began to serve better as the set went on. The Serb finally got the crucial break for a 5-3 lead before surviving a rain delay to close out the tense encounter.
“I think I did well for the most of the match,” he said. “End of the second, start of the third wasn’t that great, but I try to take positives from every match. I know I’m not playing at the level yet where I want to be and it’s obvious, but I keep on pushing myself. “Every day is a new challenge to try to look out for a better game tomorrow and after tomorrow, and hopefully it’s going to come.”
This marks the eighth time that Djokovic and Robredo will meet on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the series with a comfortable 6-1 record. Robredo’s sole win came at the Paris Masters in 2005 – well over nine years ago. Since then, the Spaniard has been competitive at one other match against Djokovic: the 2008 US Open, which went five thrilling sets before the Serb won the match 4-6 6-2 6-3 5-7 6-3. Unless Djokovic puts forth another shaky performance, this should end in straight sets.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets