Djokovic Records Number 40

French Open 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, May 28th, 2011

Juan Martin Del Potro gave Novak Djokovic everything he had but the sweet swinging Serb had all the answers and then some in the 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 three hour match spread over two days. Last night the match was halted due to darkness, with each player having a set in hand.

Novak Djokovic Records 40-0

The third set was the key to Novak Djokovic’s 40th straight win in 2011. Today, Djokovic saved himself from giving away a big break in the third set winning two long rallies at 15-40 to get to deuce and then was able to hold the game. Del Potro became agitated with himself and promptly handed a break to the Serb. In reality, that reversal gave Djokovic all the air he needed.

This was a high level match with tremendous power and incredible, piercing drives. Djokovic had success with several drop shots, which worked because Del Potro was pressed far behind the baseline.

As the match went on, Djokovic kept the Argentine behind the baseline and there was no escape. Djokovic is playing with great confidence as is in better physical shape than at any point of his career. It is going to take a special effort to halt his winning streak.

With three spots yet to be filled, the top seeds have all arrived in the Round of Sixteen. Djokovic, the second seed, will play Frenchman Richard Gasquet who overcame a challenge from Brazil’s talented Tomaz Bellucci in four sets.

One of the Round of Sixteen’s most interesting pairings finds streaking David Ferrer taking on the ninth seed, Gael Monfils from France. Monifls’ acrobatic tennis is sure to have the home crowd at fever pitch.

Roger Federer, the third seed, will meet his doubles partner and good friend Stanislaus Wawrinka. Federer has joined the Round of Sixteen without losing a set in Paris. Wawrinka had a real 5-set battle in his comeback win over an exhausted Jo Wilfried Tsonga who won the first two sets but was edged in the third set tiebreaker. It was all downhill for Wawrinka after that.

Top seed Rafa Nadal is waiting to face the winner of the Ivan Liubicic and Fernando Verdasco. Either of these players can give Rafa a run for the money in the draw’s toughest bracket.

The fourth seed, Andy Murray suffered a sprained ankle but after being wrapped was able to finish his straight set win over Germany’s Michael Berrer. Murray hopes to recover from his fall. Like Federer, he has not lost a set at Roland Garros. The Scotsman will meet Victor Troicki of Serbia in the Round of Sixteen.

Gilles Simon polished off the last remaining American, Mardy Fish in straight sets. France’s Simon will play the winner of the match between Robin Soderling (5) and Leonardo Mayer.

Djokovic is playing like the world’s best player and with Del Potro out of the way can see a clear course to the semis, where he might meet Federer who has quietly gone about his business.

If Murray is 100 percent, he should emerge from the pack at the top to meet the winner of the Nadal bracket. As week two gets ready to begin, Djokovic is the favorite but by tonight there will be 15 players looking for a shot at halting the streak.


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