No. 2-seeded Novak Djokovic's quest for his first career French Open title continued in convincing fashion Wednesday as he defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round at Roland Garros.
ATP World Tour on Twitter shared the result and highlighted Djokovic's run of dominance over Chardy:
With big names dropping like flies through the first few days of the tournament, Djokovic took care of business and never allowed any doubt to creep in.
Djoker knew that his opponent could pose a stiff challenge in the second round, but he seemed confident that his momentum would continue to carry him through the tournament, per ATPWorldTour.com.
"(Chardy) had a big win against Federer in Rome, so I'm sure he's very motivated to play his best," he said. "But I (have been) looking forward to this tournament for a long time. I'm in a good form, and hopefully I can use that against Chardy."
Djokovic's motivation to thrive at Roland Garros was quite evident in the first set as he never allowed Chardy to get going. Although the Frenchman had plenty of support from his home fans, Nole managed to captivate the crowd as well.
Not only did Djokovic have double the amount of winners and nearly half the amount of unforced errors as Chardy in the first set, but he also won nearly 80 percent of his second-serve points. Chardy won just 14 percent of his, which was clearly the difference.
The rain wreaked havoc on Djokovic's first-round match against Joao Sousa, which allowed some time for hijinks as seen in this tweet courtesy of Roland Garros on Twitter, but Djokovic was all business in taking the first set 6-1 over Chardy:
Djokovic has had Chardy's number over the years with a career record of 8-0 against him and having dropped no sets. As pointed out by ESPN's Brad Gilbert, Djoker's first-set win over Chardy made it 20 in a row:
After a disastrous first set, there was nowhere to go but up for Chardy. He certainly performed better in the second as he even managed a break of Djokovic, but Nole came through with two breaks of his own.
Both players had nine winners; however, Chardy's 16 unforced errors did him in as Djokovic won the second set in much more competitive fashion by a 6-4 score:
Chardy needed to rebound by winning the second set in order to truly get himself in the match, but he was unable to do so. He was broken immediately in the third set, and while he did manage to break right back, Djokovic ultimately took control.
Djoker finished off the third set 6-2 without much issue just before the rains came, and he did so without breaking much of a sweat:
After beating Chardy with relative ease, Djokovic will move on to face the winner of the Marin Cilic vs. Tobias Kamke match. Cilic would seemingly pose the stiffer challenge as a No. 25 seed, but Djoker is 8-0 against him and would be heavily favored against either opponent.
The expectation is that Djokovic will reach the French Open final with a chance to complete the career Grand Slam, but Rafael Nadal may very well be standing in his way. Rafa has eight career French Open titles to his credit including four straight, so bigger challenges are ahead for Nole.
Many have argued whether Djokovic or Nadal is the true favorite to take home the title, and it seems like everyone has an opinion on the matter:
With that said, it is far from a guarantee that Djokovic will even make it that far since matches against the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Milos Raonic and Roger Federer potentially loom on the road to the final.
Djokovic is in incredible form right now, though, as he made a credible foe like Chardy look ordinary on his home soil.
If Djoker continues to play like this, then it is difficult to imagine anyone derailing him prior to the final. Nadal vs. Djokovic would essentially be a tossup, but Nole may have the advantage in terms of confidence and momentum, having beating Rafa on the road to Roland Garros.
Wednesday's match was as routine as possible for Djokovic, but there is definitely some adversity in his future. Based on how well he is playing, he seems equipped to handle it.
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