x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Serb duo continue to impress at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic both won straight-sets victories to advance in the French Open.

Ana Ivanovic serves to Iveta Benesova, who won just two games off the Serb.
Ana Ivanovic serves to Iveta Benesova, who won just two games off the Serb.

PARIS // Novak Djokovic, the world No 4, booked his place in the French Open third round with a 6-3 6-4 6-1 crushing of Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky today. The Serb, twice a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, will face either the German 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber or former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain. Djokovic ran into a spot of bother in the second set, forced to rally from 4-1 down before the match was interrupted by dusk on Thursday with the Serb two sets up.

Upon resumption, Djokovic peppered the Suzanne Lenglen Court with passing shots and wrapped it up on Stakhovsky's serve after two hours and four minutes. Meanwhile Djokovic's compatriot, the reigning champion Ana Ivanovic, continued her ruthless streak at Roland Garros with a straight-sets thrashing of Iveta Benesova in the third round today. The Serbian's 6-0 6-2 win over the Czech, ranked 35 in the world, means she has yet to drop a set at this year's Roland Garros.

Indeed since her hardfought triumph against Sara Errani in the first round, the eighth seed has conceded only five games. Her first set today lasted a mere 23 minutes. Ivanovic, who continues to wear protective strapping on the front of her right knee, broke in the second, fourth and sixth games and clinched the set at the first time of asking when Benesova sent a backhand long. The pair traded early breaks in the second set but Ivanovic made the move in the sixth game, grabbing her fifth break of the match at the end of a long game to close in on victory.

That was clinched when she brought up match point with a wonderful sliced drop-shot and sealed it with an unreturnable forehand. * With agencies