Defending champion Novak Djokovic blasted previous Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in emphatic trend Monday to ominously kick off his bid for an unprecedented ninth Australian Open title. The Serbian world primary, who clinched his seventeenth Grand Slam in final yr’s gripping ultimate at Melbourne Park towards Dominic Thiem, wasted little power within the 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 romp in simply 91 minutes on Rod Laver Enviornment. The writing was on the wall with the pair assembly 13 instances earlier than and the Serb profitable all of them, with Chardy failing to take a single set. Djokovic, chasing an 18th Slam crown to shut in on the 20 held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, has likened his relationship with the Australian Open to “a love affair”.
And he clearly loved himself, dishing up a masterclass for the socially-distanced followers within the stadium.
“It feels nice, so nice to see folks again within the stadium,” he stated.
“I am actually glad to see lots of people truly — that is probably the most I’ve seen on a tennis court docket in 12 months.
“Generally we take these items (crowds) with no consideration, however very very grateful to see you all,” he added.
The 33-year-old broke Chardy within the opening recreation and was by no means troubled, racing by the set in 32 minutes, with the Frenchman profitable simply two factors off the Serb’s service recreation.
It was comparable situation in a lopsided second set, which solely lasted 22 minutes, as Chardy struggled to deal with the ferocity of Djokovic’s serving, which routinely clocked in at greater than 200 kph (124 mph).
Chardy, who made the semi-finals of the warm-up Murray River Open match, surrendered meekly, with Djokovic profitable the match along with his ninth ace.
The Serb has gained a report eight instances in Melbourne, the scene of his maiden Grand Slam triumph in 2008, and is unbeaten on the well-known blue courts since his shock defeat by South Korea’s Hyeon Chung within the 2018 spherical of 16.
He subsequent faces American Frances Tiafoe in a tough facet of the draw with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka and former world quantity three Milos Raonic potential obstacles en path to the quarter-finals.
“It is the primary time I’ll face him, he is undoubtedly one of many up and coming American tennis gamers,” Djokovic stated of Tiafoe. “I am wanting ahead to the following problem.”
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