In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I was impatient, especially in the second set'



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In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I was impatient, especially in the second set'

After kicking off the season ranked 16th, Novak Djokovic won the Adelaide title for the best possible opener of the 2007 campaign. At the Australian Open, Novak lost to Roger Federer and regained his composure again in March, advancing into the first Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells.

Rafael Nadal proved to be too strong for Novak in the desert but there was no one to stop the Serb in Miami, toppling Nadal, Andy Murray and Guillermo Canas en route to his first Masters 1000 crown at 19. With no time for rest, Novak went back home to Serbia and led his country against Georgia on an indoor carpet court, dropping one game against an unranked rival and preparing for the start of the clay swing in Monte Carlo.

In his opening match on the slowest surface of the season, Djokovic defeated a former Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in an hour and 42 minutes for the place in the third round. Novak won 55% of the return points to control the pace, dominating sets one and three for the 13th victory in the last 14 encounters.

Gaudio grabbed four breaks but that wasn't enough to keep him safe, giving serve away seven times to propel Novak over the top. Spraying more errors in set number two, Djokovic lost the ground for a couple of games, fending off a break chance at the beginning of the third with an ace and never looking back to seal the deal in style.

"It was a difficult match, playing on clay for the first time this season.

I have to be focused and find the right balance on clay; I hope it would come with more matches. It was essential to deliver a hold at the beginning of the decider, taking the momentum from my rival.

Gaudio prefers to play on the slowest surface and I knew I had to stay in touch in the early stages of the third set. I did that and the rest was a routine for me. I played with a lot of confidence and brought the match home.

I was impatient today, especially in the second set. I was looking for winners from every position on the court; you can't do that on clay. I'm still trying to get used to the surface and I hope for a better match in the next round.

Gaston won Roland Garros title a couple of years ago and he is always dangerous on clay, despite the lack of form. I knew I had to dictate the pace and control the rallies against him," Novak Djokovic said.