ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic sails past Pablo Cuevas into R3

World no. Novak Djokovic had an easy day at the office at Roland Garros on Thursday, beating Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and six¬†minutes. Thus, Novak is through to the third round in Paris for the 16th time in a row, celebrating the 305th Major victory and the 76th at Roland Garros. Djokovic fended off eight out of nine break points and secured five return games that carried him safely over the top. Like Djokovic, Cuevas had more winners than unforced errors, but it wasn’t enough for at least a set against such a strong rival and the title contender. Djokovic suffered an early break in the opener and raised his level immediately, taking half of the return points and delivering two breaks for 6-3 in 39 minutes. Novak closed the opening game at love with an ace down the T line before Pablo stole his serve at 1-1 after Novak’s forehand error. Djokovic broke back in the very next game when Cuevas sprayed a backhand mistake and placed a perfect drop shot in the next one to restore the order and open a 3-2 gap.

Pablo held after deuce in the sixth game to remain in touch before Novak brought the next game home at love for 4-3. Returning in game eight, Djokovic painted a forehand down the line winner to grab a break and serve for the set. Ready to fight, Cuevas created three break chances in game nine, squandering them all and allowing Djokovic to secure the opener with an ace down the T line.

Novak Djokovic toppled Pablo Cuevas in straight sets.

Firing 11 winners and seven unforced errors in set number two, Novak dropped only three points behind the initial shot and stole the rival’s serve twice for 6-2 in half an hour. The Uruguayan sprayed a smash mistake in the first game to fall behind, and the Serb held at 15 twice to move 3-1 in front. Finding the desired rhythm, Novak grabbed a break at love in game five to extend his lead and held at love to forge a 5-1 advantage.

World no. 1 held at 15 in game eight with a service winner for a 6-3, 6-2 lead after 70 minutes, looking good to seal the deal in the third. Pablo netted a backhand in the third set’s first game, and Novak defended two break chances in the next one to cement the lead and make another step towards the finish line. Struggling on serve again in game four, Novak saved two break chances and closed the game with an unreturned serve for a 3-1 lead. Djokovic won the sixth game with another service winner, leaving those issues from the previous service games behind him and hoping for two more of these. The Serb held at 15 at 4-3 to stay in front, followed by another powerful hold from Cuevas, who barely lost a point behind the initial shot after that break he experienced at the beginning. Serving for the victory at 5-4, Djokovic held at love with an ace to seal the deal and advance into the third round, where he faces James Duckworth or Ricardas Berankis.