Djokovic Slides Into The Second Week
Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is finding his form, breaking serve five times to advance to the second week at Melbourne Park for the 11th time with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 21 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Saturday.
“I knew coming into the match that Albert is a great fighter. He grinds, he gets a lot of balls back,” Djokovic said on court after the match. "Obviously for me it’s taking one match at a time. I have some incredible memories in Melbourne Park in the last decade of my career and obviously that comes back every time I land in Melbourne and I play on these courts.”
Djokovic is continuing his pursuit of a record seventh Australian Open title. The former World No. 1 extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against the Spaniard to 5-0 — Djokovic has won all 13 of their sets.
"Ramos-Vinolas doesn't hand you the win. He makes you earn it," Djokovic said. "It was great for me to actually get into that long exchanges and rallies, to get some rhythm on the court after the Gael Monfils match, which was really up and down, strange conditions of play. As I said, I'm really pleased with where my game is at at the moment. I know that matches from this moment onwards will get tougher and tougher."
"I'm looking forward to the next challenge. Hyeon Chung, who has beat Zverev today, a big win for him, someone that is very disciplined, one of the Next Gens. He won in Milan last year," Djokovic said. "He's playing great. He's fit. He doesn't have too many holes in his game. He's very nice guy. You can see he's a hard worker. It pays off. Into the second week, it's going to be a game of small margins. So let's see what happens."
Djokovic defeated Chung in their only past FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting at the 2016 Australian Open, eliminating the South Korean in straight sets. But he is remaining focused, knowing that he hasn’t competed since 2017 Wimbledon due to injury.
"I obviously have to be more humble with my expectations this time,” Djokovic said. "I haven’t played for six months but I’m very pleased with where my game is at at the moment."