Novak Djokovic overcame rain, cold weather and a feisty first-round opponent in David Goffin to advance to the second round of the 2013 French Open and he's well on his way to facing Rafael Nadal in the men's semifinals.
Rain forced officials to cancel many of the matches on Tuesday, according to the tournament's Twitter account:
Roland Garros @rolandgarros
The following matches have been cancelled for the day. Stay tuned for more updates #RG13 http://t.co/c4xmVxK0Dn5/28/2013, 2:16:27 PM
The rain delayed the start of Djokovic's first-round match against Goffin, who tested Djokovic throughout the afternoon. But in the end, all it amounted to was a nice workout for the No. 1 player in the world, who won in straight sets per the ATP World Tour:
ATP World Tour @ATPWorldTour
.@DjokerNole defeats #Goffin 76(5) 64 75 to begin campaign for first @rolandgarros crown. http://t.co/HQhn3eZH4R #atp #tennis #RG135/28/2013, 6:54:16 PM
After the match, the crowd cheered the effort of both players. Goffin showed incredible tenacity and resolve from start to finish, but Djokovic's superior skill and athleticism were ultimately the determining factors.
Next up for Djokovic is a 23-year-old Argentinian player who has won just five career matches out of 14. Guido Pella made it past Ivan Dodig in an epic five-set match that was decided by a final 12-10 set.
Like Goffin, Pella will give Djokovic everything he has. He might even test the top player in the world the way Goffin did, but the outcome is inevitable: Djokovic will win.
Grigor Dimitrov and Janko Tipsarevic will certainly be challenging opponents in Round 3 and beyond.
However, given Djokovic's recent track record at Roland Garros—quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in the last three years—and his business-like win in Round 1 this year, it's clear he's headed for a semifinal match against Nadal.
Nadal has had Djokovic's number throughout their careers, winning 19 of 34 matches. He's also won three of the last four matches on clay, but Djokovic won the last time they played at Monte Carlo.
Much like the old San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys NFC Championship games that used to feel more like the Super Bowl than the actual Super Bowl did, this matchup is the one everyone wants to see.
And see it, they will.
Djokovic will cruise through to the semifinals to face Nadal and the winner of that match will likely win the 2013 French Open.
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