Novak Djokovic looks to continue his winning streak on Thursday, where a win over Ricardas Berankis would make it seven in a row. The World No.1 is currently 32-1 in 2020 with the sole loss coming thanks to his controversial default at the US Open. He remains heavily favoured to come through the top half of the draw with potential third round opponents Danial Elahi Galan or Tennys Sandgren not expected to put up much of a fight.
Berankis won a first round match at the French Open for the first time after six losses, beating Hugo Dellien in four sets. It was the first time the Lithuanian won a match on clay since he won the Shymkent Challenger title in 2017. Between that, his rare forays onto the surface have all ended in defeat – including twice in Paris.
Backed by some impressive returning, Djokovic dealt with Mikael Ymer with the minimum of fuss in his opening round matchup. He picked up where he left off in Rome with the 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory. “I thought that I kept my opponent today on the back foot constantly, because I felt comfortable to hit really any shot, being aggressive or coming to the net or mixing it up.” he said.
Against an opponent that barely plays on the surface this should be a fairly straight forward match for Djokovic, who remains in imperious form. His first match here and Rome suggest that the conditions are favourable to him, something the Serbian agrees with. “Obviously these conditions are different than what we are used to here at Roland Garros… I think it’s quite suitable to my style of the game,” said Djokovic. “I think generally the game is there. I’m ready physically, mentally, emotionally to go deep in the tournament. Hopefully I can have another successful year here in Paris.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets