Novak Djokovic continued his fine form at the Australian Open and breezed into the third round with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Japan's Tatsuma Ito on Wednesday. The Serbian took just 1 hour and 35 minutes to win the tie at the Rod Laver Arena. Earlier, Djokovic began the tournament with a win over Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 on January 20. The win in the opening round also brought up his 900th tour-level win.
While the match was a pretty one-sided affair for the Serbian World No 2, the highlight of the match was his angular shot near the net which even surprised his Japanese opponent. Ito, while rushing towards the net played a drop shot, thought that he got the better of Novak Djokovic in that point. However, the defending champion rushed towards the net and played an angled passing shot just before the second bounce.
After the victory over Tatsuma Ito in the second round, Novak Djokovic will face another Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round. Nishioka beat England's Dan Evans in three sets to set up a clash against Djokovic. Apart from defending his crown, Djokovic is seeking to become only the third man to win eight or more titles at the same Grand Slam after Rafael Nadal (12 at Roland Garros) and Roger Federer (eight at Wimbledon). He is currently on an 8-match win streak after leading Serbia to the ATP Cup title in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open.
During the match, Novak Djokovic pulled off a striking tweener against his opponent. Apparently, his shot also impressed tennis player-turned-presenter John McEnroe. After the match, McEnroe asked Djokovic about his ‘between-the-legs’ shot and whether he had been hanging out with the ‘tweener-expert’ Nick Kyrgios. The 32-year old Serbian tennis sensation laughingly replied that Nick Kyrgios plays that shot better than him.