World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has moved five wins away from the second "Nole Slam," defeating Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 33 minutes for 267th Grand Slam victory and the 23rd in a row. It was another rock-solid performance from 2016 champion, dropping only 18 points on serve and playing against one break point.
The Swiss converted it but needed much more to stay in touch with Djokovic who won 46% of the return points, forging ten break chances and seizing six to have the upper hand from start to finish. The Serb had 21 winners and 24 unforced errors, more than enough to overpower Laaksonen's 24-35 ratio, with the Swiss making too many mistakes in the efforts to move the ball away from Novak and impose his shots in the rallies, mainly from the forehand wing.
The Serb cruised through the opening set in less than 25 minutes, serving well and earning the first break in game two after a forehand error from Henri. A forehand crosscourt winner pushed the top seed 4-0 in front and the set was safely in his hands after a service winner in game seven, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter.
They traded breaks in games five and six in set number two, with Laaksonen hitting better than in the opening set before Novak broke him for the second time in the seventh following a backhand error from the Swiss. Djokovic held at love in game ten thanks to a forehand winner, locking another set and breaking early in the third with a direct point from the backhand side.
Serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Henri lost four straight points to give Novak another break and propel him over the finish line, setting the third round meeting with Salvatore Caruso.