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Djokovic Brushes Past Chardy To Maintain Roland Garros Title Quest

Paris, France

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic will play Marin Cilic in the Roland Garros third round.

Novak Djokovic continued his bid for a first Roland Garros title, which would complete his set of all four Grand Slam championship titles.

The second seed improved to 22-0 in sets against Jeremy Chardy, when he beat the Frenchman for the ninth straight time 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon for a place in the third round.

“I managed to play some good tennis and [I am] already feeling like I'm improving my game as the tournament progresses,” said Djokovic. “I managed to make him play an extra shot. I managed to stay solid from the baseline and I think that forced him to make a lot of unforced errors, which definitely helped me to win in straight sets."

Djokovic has a 33-match winning streak against French opponents dating back to November 2010 at the BNP Paribas Masters (l. to Llodra).

Djokovic will next play No. 25 seed Marin Cilic, a winner of two ATP World Tour titles this year, who fired 49 winners - including 19 aces - past Tobias Kamke in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 win mid-afternoon.

“I'm going to have to be playing even better against Marin next round," said Djokovic. "Since he started working with [Goran] Ivanisevic he's playing very, very, very good. He's a big guy, and he can play really aggressive. If he feels the ball well, he can be dangerous.”

Watch Djokovic vs. Chardy Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)

Djokovic comes into Roland Garros having won his 44th title and third Internazionali BNL d'Italia crown (d. Nadal).

“He was simply stronger than me,” said Chardy. “It's difficult. You're always under pressure. He knows everything. He can do everything. It was tough, but congratulations to him.

“It's very difficult to try new things against him. I never got control of the game. I never was able to dictate the game, so it wasn't easy… There was nothing I could do.”

John Isner beat the darkness and Kazakhstani Mikhail Kukushkin, closing out a 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(4) victory in three hours and 18 minutes. The 10th-seeded American fired 35 aces and saved 10 of 11 break point chances.

"I wouldn't say 100 per cent pleased with how I played, but I'm 100 per cent pleased that I'm through to the next round," he said. "Definitely I have relied on my serve so much these first two rounds, which is fine, but I wish it didn't have to be that way, so I've got to get better."

Isner, who matches his best Roland Garros result, next plays No. 17 seed Tommy Robredo of Spain. Robredo advanced to the third round with a straightforward 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over Frenchman Kenny De Schepper.

Last year, former World No. 5 Robredo reached the quarter-finals after rallying from two sets down in three consecutive matches - the first player to accomplish that feat at a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era.

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