Top seed Novak Djokovic lived up to his title and stormed into the third round of the Australian Open with remarkable ease, and little fuss. He will next come up against Fernando Verdasco, whom he has met on 10 previous occasions on the professional tour – the first meeting of which took place nearly a decade ago. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-4.
After a smooth victory over Aljaz Bedene, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had an even easier second round encounter against Andrey Kuznetsov, whom he defeated 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round of the tournament. Djokovic hit 28 winners, 8 aces and won 86% of his first service points to close out the match 1 hour and 24 minutes.
“Well, generally this is my most successful Grand Slam and the tournament where over the years I’ve performed my best tennis. Reason? I think there is not one reason. A few reasons together. Probably the fact that I enjoy the conditions of play. Even though last two years the courts have played faster, significantly faster than they were before, still I do enjoy being here in Australia.”
While it was not as easy for Fernando Verdasco, he managed to get past Go Soeda in straight sets to set up his encounter with the world No. 1. The Spaniard hit 15 aces, 42 winners and won 79% of his first service points to close out the match 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(3) in 1 hour and 56 minutes.
This marks the 11th time that Djokovic and Verdasco will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Serbian star leading the series 6-4. Djokovic clearly holds the advantage on hard court, which he is 4-1 against Verdasco. The Spaniard’s advantage is on clay, where he leads Djokovic 3-2. Given that their meeting is taking place Down Under on hard court, there is little doubt that Djokovic ca overcome his next challenge in straight sets.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets