The second round of the French Open brought with it quite the scare on Thursday when it appeared that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had injured himself during his match on court. However, the Serb shook off the injury and resumed his match en route to the following stage of the tournament. He will next encounter Thanasi Kokkinakis, whom he has never encountered previously on the ATP World Tour.
Apart from a groin injury sustained during the match, Novak Djokovic was able to breeze past Gilles Muller in straight sets to advance to the following round in Paris. He struck 35 winners and converted five break points to secure the 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 win.
“Well, thankfully it’s nothing major,” said the Serb. “So it’s not a concern for the next match, which is the most important thing, obviously. It wasn’t pleasant with the conditions that were changing today, and I think a little bit of heavier conditions made the court a little bit more wet and it was pretty slippery.
“So I think that’s when it happened, I made a couple of slides that were quite, I’d say, unusual with change of directions. And it happened in those dynamic movements, jammed the hip a little bit. Thankfully it’s nothing serious, really. It’s going to be fine.”
In a battle between two of the top Australians on the tour, Thanasi Kokkinakis toppled the player seven years his senior in Bernard Tomic en route to the third round of the French Open. It was a contest that lasted five sets and saw Kokkinakis rally from two sets down to beat Tomic 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 8-6.
This marks just the first time that Djokovic and Kokkinakis will cross paths on the professional tour. It is also a contest that has all the makings of a fun affair that could set up a thrilling, competitive match. This is Kokkinakis’ opportunity to shine on a bright stage and prove that he is one of the players to watch out for over the coming decade. In the end, however, Djokovic should have little trouble advancing to the final 16 in Paris.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets