MELBOURNE, January 18, 2018
Novak Djokovic defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils for the 15th time in as many meeting between the two in Thursday’s second round of the Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena with temperatures rising into the high 30s Celsius.
The No. 14 seed from Serbia ralllied from a set down to secure a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory. Djokovic converted seven of his 15 break point chances to prevail after two hours and 45 minutes.
“It was obvious that we both suffered on the court,” Djokovic said. “Really tough conditions, brutal, especially for the first hour and a half. I was just hanging in there trying to use every single opportunity. Obviously he wasn’t at his best at the end of the second and the entire third set.”
Next up for Djokovic will be Spaniard Albert Ramos.
Goffin Falls, Del Potro Advances
Dark horse David Goffin of Belgium fell to French veteran Julien Benneteau 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 7-6, while Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina fired 60 winners on his way to a 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 victory over young Russian Karen Khachanov.
Del Potro, in his first appearance in Melbourne for four years after wrist injuries, will face Czech veteran Tomas Berdych in the third round.
“I am so happy to be playing in Melbourne after so many years and that’s what I miss, this kind of fight,” Del Potro told during his on court interview.
“I have pain everywhere after that match but I am still standing up and that’s good.”
Dominic Thiem overcame a two set deficit to beat Denis Kudla from the United States 6-7, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Sharapova Progresses, Muguruza Out
Maria Sharapova avenged her US Open loss to Anastasija Sevastova to move into the third round with a 6-1, 7-6 win.
“I did my job in two sets against someone that’s been troubling in the past for me,” Sharapova said. “I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory.”
Sharapova will next face Angelique Kerber. The 2016 champion celebrated her 30th birthday with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Donna Vekic as she made it an impressive 11 wins in a row to start the season.
Reigning Wimbledon champion and third-seed Garbine Muguruza from Spain was unable to deal with the unusual game of Hsieh Su-wei in hot and windy conditions at Melbourne Park and slumped to a 7-6, 6-2 defeat.