Australian Open: Nole vs Troicki in R3!

World no.3 Novak Djokovic advanced into the third round of Australian Open after defeating world no.81 Croat Ivan Dodig in four sets, 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-0, 6-2 in 3 hours and 22 minutes on Hisense Arena on Wednesday.

In a close first set Novak made a break in the 12th game to take it 7-5 in 61 minutes.

The 23-year-old Serb broke his opponent’s serve in the eighth game for 5-3 lead in the second set, but was broken back immediately when serving for it. Dodig equalised to 5-all and the set went to a tiebreaker.

Djokovic had one set point at 7-6, but Dodig survived and used his third chance to clinch it 10-8.

The 2008 champion gathered his momentum and raced through the third set with three breaks, in the first, third and fifth games, for 6-0 in just 28 minutes.

Novak eased towards the end of the match with two more breaks of serve and served it out 6-2.

“Maybe the positive thing about this match is I was challenged, pushed to the limits in the first two sets and stayed around three, three and a half hours on the court”, said Nole after the match.

“I’m not physically tired. I didn’t have any lead up to Australian Open. I was playing Hopman Cup couple of the matches. But I feel good on the court. Today in the first two sets I wasn’t happy with the way I was playing. Definitely wasn’t my best. It’s better for this to happen just now in the opening rounds than later.”

Djokovic served 9 aces to Dodig’s 8. His first serve winning percentage was 65 per cent.

The third seed hit 49 winners compared to Croat’s 23.

He made 50 unforced errors, while Dodig had 39.

Novak’s third round rival will be his friend and compatriot world no.27 Viktor Troicki who beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 4 sets, 6-4, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

Here’s what Nole said about his next opponent: “We played couple of times last three, four months. He’s definitely on a roll, playing really well. Won his first tournament of the career in Moscow last year and now finals in Sydney. He has a big serve. We know each other very, very from the Davis Cup and from junior days. We grew up playing tennis. So it’s going to be a tough third round definitely for both of us.”

Djokovic and Troicki have played 7 matches, Nole leads 6-1.

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