World No. 153 Daniel Elahi Galan appeared to be a bit star-struck during his French Open third round clash against 17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic. Galan was playing the biggest match of his career, on the biggest stadium he has ever played on, but he couldn't stun Djokovic as the top-seeded Serb claimed a dominant 6-0 6-3 6-2 won over the Colombian.
"You watch videos and you watch him on TV, and… it seems like he's not playing that fast, like he's playing heavy, with a lot of spin. But today it was like a rocket, every forehand,” Galan said, per the ATP website.
“I was not able to even react. I don't know. Maybe I was not moving… I felt like he was a rocket every time he was hitting his forehand”.
Galan didn't know where he was standing against Djokovic
Djokovic came out determined to claim a quick win and Galan absolutely stood no chance against the Serb.
"Everything felt different. Like the court was huge, like huge, huge, huge. And it was the first time I was playing stadium that big in my life. At the beginning, just felt like I didn't know where I was standing, like nothing," Galan confessed, per Ravi Ubha.
Meanwhile, Djokovic underlined it's tough for his opponents to make a comeback when he plays with strong attitude. "If you impose yourself from the very beginning on the court, which I have in those first three matches here, then it makes it hard for them to really believe that they can come back and make a turnaround in the match,” Djokovic said, per the ATP website.
Djokovic plays next against 2018 Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov. "Against Novak, I will] try to be steady, to try to maintain the level that we will play [for the] most time possible… [I will] keep pushing to try to break the guy if something is going wrong on [my] serve,” Khachanov said.
“You don't have to be surprised if you lose a few games even if you serve hard or not. A lot of balls are coming back, especially in the current situation. I think the most important thing for me [is] to stay steady, to believe in myself, to believe in the game that I'm playing. At the end of the day, [I need] to enjoy it. [I am] looking forward to a good match”.