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Defending champion Djokovic breezes past wildcard Herbert at French Open

Defending champion Djokovic breezes past wildcard Herbert at French Open


, Wednesday, 29 May 2024 (12:57 IST)
Paris: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic began his title defense at the French Open with a decisive victory over French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert, ranked No. 142, winning 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4.
This triumph marks Djokovic's 93rd win at Roland Garros, setting the stage for a second-round encounter with Roberto Carballes Baena.
Djokovic's dominance was evident from the outset. In the first set, he showcased a near-flawless serve, conceding just three points. A critical break in the third game allowed him to secure the set 6-4. His performance was marked by 11 winners and only 2 unforced errors, in contrast to Herbert's 12 winners and 13 unforced errors, underscoring Djokovic's precision and control.
The second set began with Djokovic gaining an early break. However, Herbert, demonstrating resilience and precision, immediately broke back. This set saw a surge in unforced errors from Djokovic, totaling 11, which gave Herbert opportunities to capitalise.
Despite these errors, Djokovic managed to hold his ground, leading to a tie-break. In the tie-break, Djokovic quickly took control, clinching it 7-6(3).
Herbert continued to compete vigorously, holding his serve effectively throughout the match. He won 74% of points on his first serve and hit three aces, maintaining pressure on Djokovic.
The third set remained competitive until Djokovic applied significant pressure in the 10th game, breaking Herbert's serve after an intense 8-minute struggle. This decisive break allowed Djokovic to close out the match with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory in 2 hours and 33 minutes.
Looking ahead, Djokovic will face Roberto Carballes Baena, ranked No. 63, in the second round. Carballes Baena advanced by defeating fellow Frenchman Constant Lestienne, ranked No. 91, with a score of 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
This opening match victory not only reinforces Djokovic's status as a top contender for the French Open title but also highlights his ability to overcome challenges and maintain a high level of play under pressure. As the tournament progresses, fans and analysts alike will be watching to see if Djokovic can continue his winning streak at Roland Garros.

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