Melbourne - Novak
Djokovic rattled through the second round to continue his amazing habit
of comfortable early matches at the Australian Open on Thursday.
world number one, who is gunning for a fifth Australian title,
demolished Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in just 1hr 24min to
storm into the third round.
It means that since 2007 he has
dropped just two sets in his first and second round matches at his
favourite Grand Slam tournament.
In his first two years at the Australian Open he lost in the first round to Marat Safin (2005) and Paul Goldstein (2006).
Djokovic is seeking to progress further against either Japan's Go Soeda or Spanish 31st seed Fernando Verdasco next up.
never gave the 88th-ranked Kuznetsov a chance, reeling off the opening
nine games and losing only five games on Rod Laver Arena.
generally my most successful Grand Slam and the tournament where over
the years I've performed my best tennis," the seven-time Grand Slam
"It's probably the fact that I enjoy the conditions of play, the faster courts and I enjoy being in Australia.
the beginning of the year. It's the first big tournament. Everybody
comes fresh and motivated. I guess it's a combination of things that
make me feel comfortable on the court here."
himself on being well prepared for his matches and carried out his plans
to perfection against the Russian, who has played before against his
younger brother, Marko.
"Overall I executed the game plan.
Everything I intended to do, almost 100 percent, from every second in my
game, serve, baseline play, aggressive shots and aggressive returns,"
"He dropped his first serve percentage a lot in the second set and allowed me to have a lot of looks at the second serves.
"That gave me an opportunity to step in and just swing through the ball."
Djokovic raced to 6-0, 3-0 before the Russian could get on the scoreboard.
Kuznetsov made it more of a contest in the third set before the top
seed got his seventh service break and then served out for the match.
form is red hot and he only conceded 19 unforced errors while cracking
28 winners, showing no signs of the virus that had dogged him in the
lead up to the year's first major tournament.
Djokovic went out
of last year's Open to eventual winner Stan Wawrinka in the
quarter-finals, ending a run of 14 consecutive Grand Slam semi-final
appearances by the Serb.