Novak Djokovic looks to keep his slam winning streak going on Wednesday when he takes on Juan Ignacio Londero for a spot in the last 32. The defending champion takes on an opponent who is having the best year of his career and picked up a career high ranking just last month.
Londero has long been a Challenger Tour player but something has clicked this year since he won his first ATP title back in February at Cordoba. Since then, he has taken advantage of his higher ranking and looks like he can go further than his current spot just inside the top 60. Clay his clearly his strong suit but a win over Sam Querrey in round one here bodes well in terms of his chances of performing well on hard courts in the future. He came from a set down to beat the American, coming from a break down in the fourth set to avoid a decider.
Djokovic was dominant as expected against Roberto Carballes Baena but it wasn’t a complete demolition of the Spaniard, who held his own for a good part of the 6-4 6-1 6-4 win for the top seed. Djokovic didn’t face a break point but had to remain strong on serve in fighting off several 30-30’s throughout. He broke for the first set and that would be it as he ran away with the match from there on. “It’s great to be back. I’m grateful that at this stage of my life and career… I’m still competing at a Grand Slam. We sometimes have to remind ourselves of these blessings,” said Djokovic. “I’m quite pleased with my performance and looking forward to the next round.
It should be more of the same for Djokovic in the second round, taking on an opponent with similar strengths and credentials as Carballes Baena. Tougher tests are to come for the Serbian but he may well have to wait until the fourth round and Stanislas Wawrinka to see any trouble.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets