• French Open, Day Four

Purpose burns in Djokovic as Blaz Kavcic is beaten

ESPN staff
May 30, 2012
Novak Djokovic was forced to dig a little deeper than expected by Blaz Kavcic © PA Photos

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was in no mood to hang around on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Wednesday, although he found an unwilling stepping stone in Blaz Kavcic who made the Serb fight to reach the last-32 of the French Open.

Facing the world No. 99, Djokovic found his touch from the start of the second-round match and looked intensely focused - triumphing 6-0 6-4 6-4. The purposeful glare burned through the Serbian's eyes, but he was pushed to the point of slamming his racket into the red dirt at one stage as Kavcic provided a stubborn examination.

Kavcic had knocked out Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round, but in set one he was helpless to stop the Djokovic steam train, which threatened to run away with the match. A beautiful drop shot en route to the first break of the match helped Djokovic into a 2-0 lead, before an inside-out forehand winner cemented that break.

It could hardly have been a more intimidating start to Kavcic's maiden second-round match at Roland Garros, with the Slovenian quickly realising that even his best groundstrokes would often not be enough to live with the world's best player. He also did not help himself at times, double-faulting to gift Djokovic back-to-back breaks for 4-0.

The Serb hit 14 winners in a breathtaking first set of tennis, which was one-sided due to Djokovic's quality, rather than Kavcic's shortcomings. The set was wrapped up in 23 minutes, with the underdog looking out of ideas as he returned to his seat.

However, Kavcic finally got on the board in the eighth game, and he raised his hand to the crowd as if to signal a change in momentum. Better was to come as he created two break points in the next game, converting the second as Djokovic sunk a forehand into the net.

Things truly became interesting in the following Djokovic service game as Kavcic moved to break point again, only for the Serb to step inside the baseline to avoid the double setback. The scrambling game of Kavcic was beginning to frustrate Djokovic, who took his frustration out on his racket after being denied on two break-back opportunities.

A breakthrough did finally arrive as Djokovic got back to 4-4 and, somewhat predictably after trailing for most of the set, one break led to another as the top seed won four games on the spin to steal into a 2-0 advantage. It was a deserved lead on the overall balance of play but harsh on Kavcic in the context of the second set in isolation.

Still the Slovenian battled, threatening at 0-30 on the Djokovic serve in the third set after an unlikely forehand winner from way behind the baseline. Djokovic continued to sneer at every lost point, though, and with Kavcic serving to stay in the match the world No. 1 converted his fourth match point to seal victory.

Djokovic will now face Nicolas Devilder, who beat Michael Berrer 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2.

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