ATP Madrid: Novak Djokovic sinks Taylor Fritz to kick off title chase

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ATP Madrid: Novak Djokovic sinks Taylor Fritz to kick off title chase

World no. 1 and two-time Madrid champion Novak Djokovic is safely through to the third round in Madrid following a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Taylor Fritz in an hour and four minutes. Novak scored just five wins in the previous three Masters 1000 events this season but there was nothing wrong with his game today, losing eight points on serve and erasing the only break point he faced to mount the pressure on the young American.

Competing in the fourth match in as many days here in Madrid, Taylor gave his best to perform better than in Monte Carlo when he won just three games against Novak and it was a solid display in the opening set when he got broken only once before losing ground in set number two.

Celebrating the 250th week as world no. 1, Djokovic delivered 338th Masters 1000 win and the 25th in Madrid, taking more than 40% of the return points and stealing Fritz's serve three times from as many chances to secure the place in the third round.

The Serb delivered fury from the initial shot, landing 74% of the first serve in and hitting a service winner in 47% of the points! He had 16 winners and 12 unforced errors, dominating in the shortest rallies to leave Taylor behind and open the title chase in style.

The American survived four deuces in the third game of the match before suffering a break at 3-3 when his backhand landed long. Novak saved a break point in the next game after a loose forehand from Fritz and forced a mistake from his opponent in game ten for a 6-4 after 38 minutes.

A former champion barely lost a point on serve in set number two and he broke in the third game when Taylor netted a backhand, extending the advantage with another break in game five when Fritz placed a backhand beyond the baseline.

Serving for the match at 5-2, Djokovic fired a forehand down the line winner to seal the deal and kick off the campaign with a rock-solid win, hoping for more of the same in the next clashes.