2022 in Review: Novak Djokovic eases past Aljaz Bedene

Novak Djokovic reached the last 16 at Roland Garros for the 16th time

by Jovica Ilic
2022 in Review: Novak Djokovic eases past Aljaz Bedene

The defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Roland Garros last 16 for the 16th time from 18 trips to Paris. Novak took down Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 44 minutes in the third round on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Djokovic delivered his 83rd Roland Garros win and set the clash against Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-final. Novak landed 73% of the first serve in, fired nine aced and lost only 12 points in his games to keep the pressure on the other side.

Bedene squandered the only break chance and could not follow the pace of the world's leading player. Novak claimed 45% of the return points and converted them into five breaks from 11 opportunities to control the scoreboard and preserve energy ahead of the next duel.

Novak Djokovic lost eight games against Aljaz Bedene at Roland Garros.

The Serb had 30 winners and 18 unforced errors, hitting well from both wings and overpowering the opponent in the shortest and more advanced exchanges.

Novak barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the opener, and Aljaz was far from that level. The Slovenian fended off a break point in the encounter's second game and experienced three more at 1-2. Bedene denied them and erased the fourth to remain on the positive side.

Novak held at 15 in game five and came from 40-0 down in the next one. Aljaz faced a break point and netted a routine forehand to lose serve and fall 4-2 behind. Djokovic cracked a forehand winner for a commanding hold in game seven, and Bedene reduced the deficit with a hold at love in the next one.

Novak served for the set at 5-3 and closed it at 15 to build the advantage after 34 minutes. Djokovic did everything right in his games in the second set, playing on a high level and challenging the opponent to repeat that.

Bedene lost serve in the third game after Djokovic's deep ball, and the Serb produced three comfortable holds in the next 15 minutes to extend the lead and open a 5-3 gap. Novak landed a forehand winner in game nine for his second break and a massive 6-3, 6-3 advantage in 70 minutes.

Djokovic faced the first and only break point at the beginning of the third set. He fended it off with a smash winner to keep his serve intact and held after a service winner. Novak grabbed a break at love in game four thanks to a sharp return and held at love a few minutes later to confirm it and move 4-1 ahead.

Returning in game eight, Djokovic broke at 30 after the rival's forehand mistake to emerge at the top and advance into the last 16.

Novak Djokovic Aljaz Bedene Roland Garros