A 21-time Major winner Novak Djokovic is back in Auckland 16 years after claiming an ATP title there. The Serb is off to a flying start at the ATP 250 event following a convincing 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Constant Lestienne. Thus, Novak is safely through into the second round, making a winning start to the season and hoping for more in the rest of the week.
Djokovic sealed the deal in an hour and 15 minutes, doing everything right in his games and turning 43% of the return points into three breaks from eight opportunities. The Serb dropped nine points behind the initial shot and defended a lone break point to keep the pressure on the other side and march into the last 16.
Novak held at love in the encounter’s first game, and Constant responded with a volley lob winner in game two for 1-1.
Novak Djokovic is safely through into the second round in Adelaide.
Djokovic produced another fine hold in the third game with a volley winner at the net, finding his strokes early on.
Lestienne cracked a forehand down the line winner in the fourth game for 2-2 and a reliable start after 13 minutes. The Frenchman created a break chance in game five after the Serb’s mistake at the net. Novak denied it after the rival’s forehand mistake and fired a service winner to open a 3-2 gap.
Constant missed his chances in the sixth game and played a loose forehand to drop serve and find himself 4-2 behind. Djokovic cemented the advantage with a forehand down the line winner in game seven, and Lestienne prolonged the set with an ace in the next one.
Novak served for the set at 5-3 and landed a service winner to wrap it up in 38 minutes. The Serb created three break chances at the start of the second set and seized the third with a forehand down the line winner that sent him a set and a break up.
Novak held at love in game two and converted the third break chance a few minutes later for a 3-0 advantage. A service winner sent Djokovic 4-0 in front, and he extended the gap to 5-1 with another fine hold in game six. Lestienne served well in games five and seven to avoid a bagel and prolong the match, with Djokovic serving for the victory at 5-2. The Serb sealed the deal with a service winner that sent him over the top and into the second round.