- French Open, Day Five
Djokovic demolishes Pella to advance in Paris
When the rain disappeared, Novak Djokovic quickly set to work as the Serb sealed his place in the third round of the French Open with a 6-2 6-0 6-2 victory over Guido Pella.
The world No. 1 is looking to complete the career Grand Slam by lifting the title at Roland Garros this year, and with record seven-time champion Rafael Nadal likely to be his opponent in the semi-final and Roger Federer in the final, Djokovic has hardly had to climb out of second gear in his opening two matches in the tournament by not exerting a lot of energy so far in the first week.
With Djokovic comfortably holding serve in the first game, the Serb immediately put his Argentine opponent under pressure in the following game. However, unable to claim the break with two opportunities, the world No. 1 pounced in the sixth game when 30-15 behind as he took three points in a row to break with a forehand volley.
Djokovic with the cushion of the break continued to benefit from unforced errors from Pella - who hit 13 in total so far - and with it the top seed sealed the opening set.
Djokovic was now on a run of seven straight games as he swept to a 3-0 lead in the second set, with Pella unable to threaten the Djokovic serve.
A 14-minute rain delay did nothing to help Pella as Djokovic clinched an eighth consecutive game thanks to a fine double-handed cross-court backhand, which left Pella looking up to the heavens as he believed he did enough to win the point. And with it Djokovic inflicted the dreaded whitewash on Pella in the second set.
When Pella was able to stick with Djokovic in the rallies, the Argentine still came out second best because the latter got his racket onto every ball and turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye - demonstrated when he stretched to make a forehand down the line.
Pella managed to stop the rot by taking the second game of the third set, but Djokovic was not to be denied as the Serb broke in the fourth and consolidated his advantage to cross the finishing line.
Grigor Dimitrov will be Djokovic's opponent in the third round after the Bulgarian sealed a 6-1 7-6(4) 6-1 victory over Lucas Pouille, while 13th seed Kei Nishikori beat Grega Zemlja 6-1 5-7 6-1 6-4.
Nadal was set to get going in his match against Martin Klizan, but the rain fell late in the evening, and tournament organisers decided all matches which had yet to start would begin from scratch on Friday.
Philipp Kohlschreiber did not have to hit a ball on Thursday but still made it through to the next round as the German benefited from a walkover in his tie against Yen-Hsun Lu.