What went wrong for Novak Djokovic against Tallon Griekspoor?

Novak Djokovic struggled en route to the Paris Masters quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
What went wrong for Novak Djokovic against Tallon Griekspoor?
© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic struggled in the Paris Masters third round against Tallon Griekspoor. Novak prevailed 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 39 minutes despite stomach issues. Djokovic could not bring his usual energy to the court, spending more time in the toilet than on the court for the last couple of days.

The Serb focused on his service games in the second set, reaching the tie break and playing his best tennis to force a decider. Novak felt better in the third set, bringing the victory home and setting the quarter-final duel against Holger Rune.

Djokovic saved six out of nine break points and stole the rival's serve three times from seven chances as they stayed neck and neck. Nothing separated them in the shortest and more advanced rallies, staying neck and neck from start to finish.

Griekspoor lost serve in the second game after a loose forehand, allowing Djokovic to forge a 4-1 advantage with three fine holds. Novak moved 40-15 in front in the seventh game. Instead of gaining a 5-2 advantage, world no. 1 lost four points in a row and got broken after Tallon's forehand winner at the net.

Novak Djokovic is dealing with stomach issues in Paris.

The Dutchman held at love for 4-4 and gained confidence, pushing strong on the return in game nine. Griekspoor seized the fourth break point after Djokovic's wayward backhand, opening a 5-4 lead and serving for the set.

Tallon held at love with a forehand down the line winner in game ten, rattling off five games and locking the opener 6-4 in 46 minutes. After break points in games one and two, two rivals served well and reached 4-4. Djokovic faced two break points in the ninth game, standing close to the exit door.

Novak stayed calm and erased them, bringing the game home for a crucial hold. The set went into a tie break, and Djokovic found his A-game. The Serb produced two mini-breaks and won three points on serve for 5-0. Djokovic fired a service winner at 6-2, forcing a decider after an hour and 44 minutes.

Tallon played a loose service game at 2-2 in the decider, pushing Novak in front after netting a forehand. Djokovic cemented the lead in game seven and created another break chance a few minutes later. Griekspoor saved it and remained within one break deficit.

Novak squandered a game point at 4-3 and hit a double fault on a break point, bringing the opponent back to the positive side and ironically applauding the crowd. The world's best player left this setback behind and secured a break at love in game nine.

Novak served for the victory at 5-4 and held at love with a booming serve for a place in the last eight. "Honestly, I have been spending more time in the toilet than on the tennis court for several days. I'm dealing with stomach problems, and I'm not quite feeling myself.

I played with the idea of maintaining my serve as best I could and reaching a tie break. I managed to do that in the second set before raising my level in the breaker. I felt better in the third set, and I'm thrilled to overcome the challenge," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Tallon Griekspoor Paris Masters