Djokovic Off to Solid French Open Start, Murray Struggling

Hello, folks. Since the last time I posted, Djokovic played his first match while Murray finished his first round match and played his second match today. Nadal also played his first match while Stan completed his second match today as well.

  • Top Half

Djokovic had a slowish start in his match against Lu after getting broken back in the first set at 4-3, but in the next game, he broke from 0-40 down and held serve to win the opening set 6-4. It was a very average set by his high standards but for the rest of the match, he was untouchable winning the following two sets 6-1, 6-1.

So after a slightly concerning start ,Djokovic looked extremely solid in the last two sets and you would have to say it was a very good start from him. He looked very relaxed and in control out there while playing some terrific drop shots that left Lu with no chance.

He has great feel on that backhand drop shot and it is a very important shot for him especially on clay. It is great for variation and, of course, on clay the drop shot is a must have. Tomorrow Djokovic will be second on Lenglen against Darcis.

Looking at his quarter of the draw again it does look quite comfortable for a player of his quality and his goal would be not to drop a set until the semis. But this is tennis and you just don’t know. He could lose to Darcis for all you know.

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Fedfans have been critical of Djokovic’s on-court behavior…

In the second quarter, Nadal had a 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Groth who is a poor clay court player. Fognini lost first round so Nadal won’t have any competition until the fourth round at least where he could face Thiem.

Thiem dropped the first set against Cervantes but won in four. He really should make fourth round given his form of late and at least he may be able to test Nadal. But the early loss of Fognini helps Nadal because he will gain confidence even from destroying three mugs in a row.

At least Thiem did defeat Nadal in Buenos Aires so he could test Nadal if he makes the fourth round.

  • Bottom Half

Murray had to come back on Monday to complete his first round match against Stepanek which he ended up winning in five sets. So the French Open still doesn’t have lights which means Murray had to play three days in a row.

But not only that he played ten sets in those three days. The fact that he went to five sets in both his matches is his own fault but it didn’t help that he had no rest day. Today he was at it again against unknown French player Bourgue.

He won but it was another bruising battle. I’m glad there was so much hype around Murray after he won Rome because as we have seen time and time again with him when there is hype around him he chokes.

And that is exactly what he did in his first two matches. He played like he was under immense pressure when he should have straight setted both opponents. Now he has an uphill battle ahead and he has the toughest draw of the top four with Nishikori and Kyrgios in his quarter.

Unless he goes into the zone and starts winning everything in straight sets he will be exhausted if he does make the final. But I think it is more likely that he loses before then. He can make quarters but then I see Nishikori or Kyrgios shutting him down.

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…they must think Murray is a serial killer

Nishikori and Kyrgios have both been moving along smoothly without dropping a set and are on course for a fourth-round clash. But they both have dangerous opponents in the next round in Verdasco and Gasquet.

Nishikori is still the favorite for me to come through that section and to the semis as well. In the third quarter Stan almost lost in the first round but after coming through in five sets over Rosol he won in straight sets today.

How much of a physical toll will winning Geneva and beginning with a five-set match take on Stan? We know when he goes on a hot run he can just destroy everyone in his path but he doesn’t have a physique for endurance so tiredness could come into play.

His draw is such that he can easily make semis but then if he gets into a tough match with Nishikori, for instance, he could get tired. So as things currently stand the real final will still be between Djokovic and Nadal for me.

Yes, that is looking way ahead but I think if that match happens then Djokovic will easily be the favorite and whoever will be in the final in the bottom half could have tiredness issues. Djokovic and Nadal would still likely be fresh for the final.

  • Highlights

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Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

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