Novak Djokovic opens his tournament in Madrid against a big serving American in Taylor Harry Fritz, facing off in the early afternoon on the Manolo Santana court. Djokovic is seeking a return to form after looking far from stellar over the past few months. See the Djokovic vs Fritz H2H matches and stats.
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The Madrid court plays much differently to other clay courts and that has been to the advantage of players like Fritz and Reilly Opelka, who both picked up wins on Monday against players perceived to be much more comfortable on clay. Fritz’s win over Grigor Dimitrov was backed by a strong serving performance, hitting 15 aces in the 7-6 7-6 victory.
Djokovic’s failure to make a final outside of the Australian Open has to be seen as a disappointment but it appears not to be too much of a concern to the Serbian as long as he peaks for the slams. “Maybe I’m lacking the consistency with the top results in the last couple of years in the best tournaments, but Grand Slams I have been playing my best, and that’s what I intend to do.” he noted after his loss to Daniil Medvedev.
Fritz will be hoping for a nicer time than in their last meeting at Monte Carlo a few weeks ago, where he was crushed by the World No.1 in just over an hour. Djokovic is well aware of the threat posed by Fritz, even if he contained it well during the 6-3 6-0 win. “Taylor, you know, plays really quick and has a big serve and just flattens the ball. Doesn’t really have a clay court game, but he has done well this tournament.” he said after that match.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets