Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic trounces Pablo Cuevas to reach third round

The Serbian struck 31 winners to beat Cuevas in straight sets and will play Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis next in Paris.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his second round win in Paris; Credit: Twitter/Roland Garros

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday overcame clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas in straight sets to reach the third round in Paris. The 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win allows him to continue on his quest for a first Roland Garros title since 2016. In the first ATP head-to-head meeting between them, Djokovic hit 31 winners to secure the victory in two hours and nine minutes. The Serbian, who is yet to drop a set in Paris, will next play Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who beat James Duckworth of Australia 7-5, 2-6, 7-6, 6-0.

Djokovic has continued his recent good form after winning the Belgrade Open on home soil last week before reaching the final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in May. The 34-year-old, who is bidding for his 19th Grand Slam title, had some catching up to do early on. Cuevas, who beat Lucas Pouille in the first round in Paris, started well to move a break ahead, but the Serbian came back instantly to level it 2-2. Djokovic then raised his level, winning four of the next five games to see out the set.

Second set completely belonged to the Serb as he converted both break points he had in the set to ease his way to securing it. But third set was not a straight-forward affair. Djokovic had to use his defensive skills to good effect to gain an early break. Cuevas fought well to make life difficult for the World No.1, but the Serbian held his nerve under pressure to win the set and the match in the process.

Berrettini enters third round

Matteo Berrettini was at his lethal best to beat Argentina’s Federico Coria 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round in Paris. Berrettini hit 46 winners to secure the match in just under two hours. Berrettini, who struggled with injuries last year, feels that he is in a better place now.

“I wasn’t in the best place on my career [last year],” said Berrettini. “I had a lot of injuries. It wasn’t an easy year for anyone. So, when I struggle, I struggle. When I’m happy, I’m happy. But before it was a little bit too dark. I have to work, and I’m proud of what I have done. Now I’m really looking forward to playing [the] next tournaments, next matches, because at the end now I feel I’m back again.”

Sportslumo Desk

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