Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, world No. 2, has prolonged his unbeaten run in 2011 to 40 victories, and the resistance that was widely expected from Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, seed No. 25, never really took hold.
The match was interrupted at one set all (6-3 3-6) on Friday night due to poor light. Despite his powerful forehand and the convincing start he made to the third set, the “Tower of Tandil” caused only a slight hindrance to Novak Djokovic’s solid game, and the Serb finally took the match 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 in two hours and 55 minutes.
Del Potro seemed to be lacking in rhythm but can take some comfort in the fact that he stole a set from Djokovic, who had only lost nine sets in total since the beginning of the season before arriving in Paris.
With a 40-match winning streak since the beginning of the season, Novak Djokovic is closing in on John McEnroe’s record. The American started the 1984 season with 42 straight wins before his on-going success was halted…in the final at Roland-Garros! The Serb is also nearing another Open era record: that of Guillermo Vilas, who boasts 46 consecutive wins. Including his two wins in the Davis Cup final last December, in Belgrade against France, Novak Djokovic totals 42 consecutive wins in singles.
It was interesting to note that both players were stressed at the start of the match on Saturday when the match resumed. However, the spectators almost witness a table tennis match at times.
All angles were used by both players, with the Serb winning 80 percent of the long rallies ending with more than 20 strokes. It was one of the rare time the World No. 2 did not serve well during a match, but his baseline game was too strong for the Argentine.
The 25th seed made too many unforced errors, including a double fault on break point in the third game of the fourth set. It's impossible to do that against the 2011 version of Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic has already won two majors, the Australian Open in 2008 and again this year in Melbourne against Andy Murray. If he wins in Paris, he will be the first player since Jim Courier in 1992 to have won the Australian Open and the French Open back-to-back.
Djokovic's fitness will once more come into effect on Sunday as he will be playing for a third consecutive day due to the interruption of his match against Juan Martin del Potro on Friday night.
The Serb will face France's Richard Gasquet for a place in the quarterfinals.