Klizan Stuns Djokovic To Reach Third Round
Klizan wins first match in five meetings with former World No. 1
The 2015 semi-finalist (l. to Nishikori) converted each of his three break-point opportunities in the one-hour, 39-minute contest to defeat Djokovic, who was playing his first match in Barcelona since losing on his debut to Daniel Gimeno Traver in 2006. Klizan, who reached a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 24 after his run to the last four in 2015, will meet Feliciano Lopez for a place in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in three sets on Tuesday.
Klizan began the match in fine form, breaking in the first game to capture the initiative. A further break came in the fifth game, as the Slovakian raced to a 4-1 lead before two service holds secured a one-set advantage.
Djokovic replied emphatically in the second set, dropping just seven points in a sequence reminiscent of his opening-round form against Lajovic at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Djokovic recorded a 94 per cent first-serve percentage in the set and conceded just two points behind his own delivery to enter the final set with considerable confidence.
However, the momentum was halted in the decider. Both men held serve with relative ease in the first seven games, with a single break of serve in the crucial eighth game proving the difference. Klizan broke to 15 and served the match out by the same margin to record his first win in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Djokovic.
Karen Khachanov also advanced to the third round, beating Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-0. The 16th seed won 79 per cent of first-serve points during the one-hour, 33-minute second-round encounter and saved all four break points against his serve. The 21-year-old, who won the Open 13 Provence in February (d. Pouille), has now won 15 matches on the ATP World Tour this season and will meet Belgium's David Goffin for a quarter-final spot. Goffin leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1.
Did You Know?
Martin Klizan reached the semi-finals on his last appearance at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2015. The left-hander beat Juan Monaco, Victor Estrella Burgos and Tommy Robredo before falling to eventual champion Kei Nishikori in the last four.