Novak Djokovic Thrashes Dolgopolov For Winning Start In Rome

Novak Djokovic blasted past Alexandr Dolgopolov to make the second round in Rome.

Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

Four time Rome champion, Novak Djokovic started his 2018 campaign with a 6-1 6-3 thrashing of Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. 

The world number 18 took control of the match from the very start as he raced into a commanding 4-1 lead. The Serb is looking to gain more confidence this week after his second round defeat to Kyle Edmund in Madrid last week. After racing through the first set he continued his momentum in the second set with some stunning backhands as Dolgopolov continued to struggle. The 11th seed only lost seven points on serve in the second set as he stormed to victory in 55 minutes.

The win means that Djokovic is now 7-6 in 2018 and will look to defend his final points from this week or his seeding for the French Open could be low. He will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi in the next round.

Nishikori Makes Dream Start

Kei Nishikori started his 2018 Rome campaign with a very good 7-6(5) 6-4 victory over Feliciano Lopez. Nishikori, who actually lost to Djokovic in the first round in Madrid last week played a very solid match despite a nervy start. The world number 24 broke three times as he secured victory in 1 hour and 48 minutes to set up a second round encounter with Grigor Dimitrov.

After the match Nishikori discussed his victory and the main tactics that won him the contest, “It wasn’t easy match. It was windy. And, also, he used a lot of slice and great serves. And, yeah, so tough condition for both of us, but I think I handle well his slice. And I think first set can be — can go both ways. I think he was playing good tennis, too. Yeah. I mean, luckily I got first set. And after that, I was more confident and I was playing better tennis.”

There were also very good wins for 9th seed David Goffin and 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta while Philipp Kphlschreiber survived a tough test against Karen Khachanov as he won 7-5 6-7(7) 7-6(6).

 

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