ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic advances into last 16 ahead of first real test



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ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic advances into last 16 ahead of first real test

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is through to the last 16 at Roland Garros for the 16th time from 18 trips to Paris. The defending champion ousted Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 44 minutes for a relaxed day on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It was Novak's 83rd Roland Garros triumph, and he will now face Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round in what should be his first real test of the tournament. Djokovic served at 73%, fired nine aces and dropped 12 points behind the initial shot to keep the pressure on the other side.

Bedene missed the only break chance he earned and could not follow the pace of the world's leading player. Novak claimed 45% of the return points and converted them into five breaks from 11 opportunities to control the scoreboard and preserve energy ahead of the next duel.

Novak Djokovic is through to the last 16 at Roland Garros.

The Serb had 30 winners and 18 unforced errors, hitting well from both wings and overpowering the opponent in the shortest and more advanced exchanges. Novak barely lost a point behind the initial shot, and Aljaz was far from that level.

He fended off break points in games two and four to remain in touch before Djokovic grabbed a break in the sixth game. The Serb forged a 4-2 advantage and held at 15 in game nine for 6-3 in no time. Djokovic did everything right in his games in the second set, playing on a high level and challenging the opponent to repeat that.

Bedene got broken in the third game after Djokovic's deep ball, and the Serb produced three comfortable holds in the next 15 minutes to extend the lead and open a 5-3 gap. Novak landed a forehand winner in game nine for his second break of the set and a massive 6-3, 6-3 advantage in 70 minutes.

Djokovic faced the first and only break point at the beginning of the third set and fended it off with a smash winner to keep his serve intact. Novak grabbed a break at love in game four to open a 3-1 gap and held at love a few minutes later to confirm it.

Returning in game eight, Djokovic broke at 30 to emerge at the top and advance into the last 16, missing to achieve that only twice in Paris.