The 19-year-old Novak Djokovic was one of the players to beat at the beginning of 2007, winning the title in Auckland and hoping to extend the winning streak at the Australian Open. In Melbourne, Novak stormed over Nicolas Massu in the first round, dropping just two games for the most reliable start and beating Feliciano Lopez in the second round in straight sets, despite having some problems in set number two.
In the battle for the place in the last 16, Novak took down Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 45 minutes, controlling the pace in the bigger part of the encounter to set the clash against Roger Federer. Djokovic fended off six out of nine break chances and stole the rival's serve seven times to book the place in the next round.
The youngster had the opportunity to seal the deal in straight sets, serving for the triumph in the third before Udomchoke bounced back to win the remaining games and force the fourth set, standing no chance against an in-form opponent there.
"The match was tough; I brought him back in contention in the third set after some mistakes and he used his opportunity. I had to save a break point at the beginning of the fourth set and the rest of the set was a routine.
Overall, I'm not happy with my game today; there are some things that I did right, like my serve and volleys. I made too many unforced errors and will have to reduce that if I want to have some chances to beat Roger Federer in the next round.
Every surface requires a different kind of serve or style of the game. I've worked a lot on my serve in the last couple of weeks and I think I'm serving pretty well right now. I had the luck that I didn't play during humid weather.
I was playing the first matches of the day and finished pretty early. During the day when it's humid, the ball goes faster, and it's a bit slower when the night comes. It all depends."