Djokovic Fires Warning To Australian Open Title Rivals
World No. 1 to play Tiafoe in second round at Melbourne Park
The eight-time champion experienced no let-downs in his quality of play after he swept past the experienced Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 in just one hour and 31 minutes.
“It felt great,” said Djokovic. "I started the match really well. Broke his serve and [it was] pretty much flawless match, especially on my service games. I was very dominant. I went very quickly through my service games. I think every shot that I executed tonight was really good and on a high level. I'm very pleased with the way I opened up [at] the Australian Open.
“I felt really relaxed and comfortable on the court tonight, so I could allow myself to try out some things and come to net. But I thought I was very solid and didn't allow him to have time to try to do something with his forehand.”
Djokovic bookended the 32-minute first set with service breaks, then ran through a 22-minute second set, hitting 11 winners from 25 points, with no unforced errors. Chardy ended a seven-game losing streak from 3-4 in the first set with a service hold in the sixth game of the second set.
Djokovic broke in the first game of the third set, then clinched another break with a superb, angled backhand winner off a Chardy drop shot. He closed out with his ninth ace, having lost just nine of his first-service points.