World No 65 Constant Lestienne described playing Novak Djokovic as a great tennis lesson and admitted he started believing he could beat the Serb after clinching an early break point. On Tuesday, 30-year-old Lestienne faced Djokovic for the first time in his career.
In the Adelaide International first round, top-seeded Djokovic ousted Lestienne 6-3 6-2. “It was great, really! It was not necessarily an easy draw for me, to take Novak Djokovic in the first round of an ATP 250, but it’s true that that’s how you learn.
I saw how difficult the level was, but it’s great to have been able to face such a player and I only keep positive things from this meeting. This will be a great story to tell my children,” Lestienne told L’Equipe.
Lestienne: I started believing I could maybe beat Djokovic
“It was really a great experience. In my career, I had never played a top level player like him, so it was a bit stressful before the meeting I didn’t know if I was going to be at the level.
I had a good start to the match, two games apiece I get a break point and I see that Djokovic is starting to get angry. At that time, I believed it! I thought I could win! Although I know it may sound naive,” Lestienne added.
The first break point of the match was seen in the fifth game, when Djokovic’s saved Lestienne’s break point to go 3-2 up. After saving a break point, Djokovic claimed his first break of the match in the sixth game to open a 4-2 lead.
Djokovic didn’t give Lestienne any break points in the remainder of the first set as he served out for the opener in the ninth game. Up by a set, Djokovic started the second set with back-to-back breaks and a 4-0 lead. Djokovic then had no problems closing out the match in two sets. In his next match, Djokovic plays Quentin Halys.