Novak Djokovic seemed to be likely to finish his match against Lucas Pouille in a record time. The Belgrade native was up 6-1 4-0 over half an hour, then the Frenchman won two more games and Djokovic prevailed after 50 minutes, which is definitely a boost as he is coming from a shoulder injury.
The world No. 1 said: “You always hope it can happen regularly and it can happen in every match that you play, but it doesn’t always work. So it does depend on various things, not just the way you hit the tennis ball, but the way you feel physically, mentally, emotionally.
It all has to be aligned for you to have a performance like this, so I guess this was the day for me”. Djokovic feels he is very loved in Japan: “I do enjoy it as much as my team or people that cheer me on or people that are in the tennis stadium.
When you experience that perfect flow state where everything really works, whatever you do, that’s where you want to be, basically, in that state of mind. That’s where you want your game to be every single time you step on the court to play a match.
I’m enjoying my time here very much. It’s the first time [I have played] in [the] Japan Open and I do feel very comfortable. People are very kind to me and to my team. I get a lot of support on the court as well, which is always very much needed and something that you hope for.
So of course in these kinds of conditions — which are also quite suitable to my style of the game, the speed of the court and the weather — everything is really perfectly matching myself on the court and off the court for me in order to be at the top of my game and to perform as well as I did today”.