The three-time defending tournament champion—and odds-on favorite in the men's draw—will take on world No. 98 Leonardo Mayer in the second round at Melbourne Park. And while Djokovic has never faced off against the 26-year-old Argentine before, he's poised to cruise past the massive underdog in three relatively easy sets.
Naturally, Djokovic was rusty in his first-round triumph on Day 1. Still, he managed to defeat Lukas Lacko convincingly, blasting 10 aces and recording 40 winners in a straight-sets clinic. And given the world No. 2's favorable draw, it's unlikely he'll be tested until the second week.
Good to start of with a Win in Aus Open 2014. Dobro je zapoceti pobedom ovogodisnji Aus Open.. Idemo dalje. Thanks for the support guys— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 13, 2014
After all, it's been four years since Djokovic last lost a singles match in Melbourne.
Now, with tennis legend Boris Becker on his side, the four-time Aussie Open champion is taking to the court with an unrivaled level of confidence. That belief was on display throughout his opening-round victory and is sure to take center stage again in his second-round clash with Mayer.
In addition to dominating on return, Djokovic has become a dangerous player at the net, converting on 8 of 9 net points in his win over Lacko and looking more confident and comfortable than ever moving forward.
And with the rust shaken off of his lethal two-handed backhand, good luck finding a weakness in Djokovic's hard-court game.
Sure, his serve isn't going to blow anyone away, but it's much improved and allows him to dictate the point. Not to mention that it opens the door for cheap points when he's able to serve with pace and charge the net for an easy winner.
How many sets will Djokovic need to defeat Mayer?
Although Mayer was exceptional in his first-round win over Albert Montanes, he was untested by the 33-year-old Spaniard in a match that lasted just over an hour. In Round 2, watch for Djokovic's focus, athleticism and shot-making ability to overwhelm Mayer from the outset.
Plus, the blistering heat gives Djokovic even more of an edge in the best-of-five-set showdown.
There are few athletes on the planet, let alone tennis players, as fit as Djokovic. And with conditions far from ideal at Melbourne Park, a Mayer upset seems inconceivable.
Assuming Djokovic can stay healthy and hydrated, Mayer will have no answer for his incredible form Down Under and is poised to become another victim of the defending champion's incredible run at the season's first Slam.
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