Novak Djokovic vs. Corentin Moutet - Who won their first encounter?

Novak Djokovic will face Corentin Moutet in the second round at Foro Italico

by Jovica Ilic
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Novak Djokovic vs. Corentin Moutet - Who won their first encounter?
© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic returns to action at the Rome Masters on Friday, facing Corentin Moutet in the second round. The Serb is seeking his first title of the season at Foro Italico and his seventh Rome Masters trophy, losing it a year ago following the quarter-final loss to Holger Rune.

Djokovic's first rival in Rome is Corentin Moutet. The Frenchman entered the main draw as a lucky loser and toppled Roman Safiullin 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes, staying focused in the second set tie break and outplaying his opponent in the decider.

Thus, Moutet arranged the second clash against Djokovic four and a half years after their first meeting.

Corentin Moutet, Paris Masters 2019© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak and Corentin battled in the second round at the 2019 Paris Masters, and the Serb earned a 7-6, 6-4 victory in an hour and 46 minutes.

Djokovic played his first match since the quarter-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Shanghai. The Serb had to dig deep in the opening set, falling 5-3 behind and offering his rival two set points in the ninth game. Corentin squandered them, and Novak stole the set before clinching two breaks in the second set that carried him through.

Moutet created six break chances and seized two. Djokovic grabbed 44% of the return points and turned them into four breaks from seven chances, sealing the deal in straight sets despite not playing at his best.

Novak Djokovic, Paris Masters 2019© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic and Corentin Moutet are the rivals at the Rome Masters.

Novak landed 23 winners and 31 unforced errors, creating the crucial difference in the quickest exchanges up to four strokes.

The young gun stayed in touch with a great rival in the early stages. Corentin stepped in on the return in the seventh game and grabbed a break after Novak's volley error, moving in front and facing the ultimate challenge at 4-3.

Moutet denied four break points in the eighth game, cementing the advantage and making another push on the return at 5-3.

Novak Djokovic, Paris Masters 2019© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Djokovic denied them and held, reducing the deficit and gathering a boost.

Novak pulled the break back at 4-5 after the rival's forehand error, locking the result and extending the battle. The set reached a tie break, and Djokovic claimed it 7-2, wrapping up the opener after 68 minutes and moving closer to the finish line.

Novak landed a return winner in the third game of the third set, moving in front and painting a forehand winner in game five for a break at love and a massive 4-1 lead. Corentin pulled one break back in game six, reducing the deficit and holding in the next one for 3-4.

However, Djokovic served well in games eight and ten, sealing the deal with a hold at 5-4 and booking a place in the third round.

Novak Djokovic Corentin Moutet
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