2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic sprints into the Australian Open third round



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2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic sprints into the Australian Open third round

World no. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to the Australian Open third round for the 13th time, defeating Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 35 minutes. It was another impressive performance from the seven-time champion down under, landing 72% of the first serve in and barely losing a point on it.

Ito received a wild card and passed the opening obstacle at the first Major of the season. He couldn't challenge Novak, though, taking six points on the return and staying away from break chances. On the other hand, the Serb converted five out of nine break opportunities to set another Japanese clash versus Yoshihito Nishioka.

Novak ruled the court with 31 winners and 17 unforced errors, controlling the pace and struggling to make an impression on the return only in set number two, although his victory was never in doubt. Djokovic held at 15 in the first game with a service winner and grabbed a break in game two when Ito sent a backhand long.

The favorite clinched the third game with a forehand winner and seized a break at 15 a few minutes later to race into a 4-0 lead. Novak closed the fifth game with a volley winner and landed three winners at 5-1 to wrap up the opener in 22 minutes.

The Japanese started to play better in set number two, holding at love in the opening game and defending two break chances to bring the third game home after four deuces.

Novak Djokovic toppled Tatsuma Ito in an hour and 35 minutes in Melbourne.

Ito forced an error from Djokovic to take the fifth game at love and saved a break chance at 3-3 following a loose forehand from Novak to remain on the positive side.

The Serb closed the eighth game with a service winner and forced a mistake from his opponent in game nine to earn the crucial break and move in front. Djokovic showed incredible defense skills and quickness in the next game and seized the set with an ace, looking good to grab the victory soon after.

Tatsuma sprayed a forehand error in the third set's third game to give Novak a break, followed by four service winners from the top favorite who cemented the break in 48 seconds. Losing ground in those moments, the Japanese placed a backhand wide to suffer another break in game five, pushing Djokovic 4-1 up and closer to the finish line.

Djokovic held in game six following a deuce, keeping his serv intact and serving for the triumph at 5-2 following the Japanese's hold at love. Showing no sign of nerves, Novak held at 15 in that eighth game to advance into the last 32 and remain on the title course.