Australian Open: Unstoppable Novak Djokovic reaches third round, overcomes Couacaud
Serbian ace Novak Djokovic reached the third round at the Australian Open after beating unseeded Frenchman Enzo Couacaud on Thursday. Although the latter took a set off Djokovic, the Serbian ended up winning 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0 after over three hours. Djokovic took a medical time-out in the second set. The former world number one is chasing a record-extending 10th title in Melbourne.
Key stats of the match
Djokovic won a total of 145 points and 63 winners in the match. The Serbian fired as many as nine aces in the match, with his opponent, Couacaud, settling with seven. Djokovic recorded a win percentage of 84 and 57 on his first and second serve, respectively. Meanwhile, the Frenchman smashed the match's fastest serve (208 KPH).
A medical time-out in the second set
It must be noted that Djokovic took a medical time-out in the second set when the score read 6-1, 4-5. The 35-year-old continues to struggle with the hamstring injury he suffered in Adelaide earlier this month. Djokovic bounced back despite the pain.
Djokovic was on the receiving end after acing the first set. He lost the second, with Couacaud winning the tie-break. This is the first time since 2009 (against Amer Delic) that Djokovic lost a set to a qualifier or lucky loser at the Australian Open.
Two consecutive wins post return
In January 2022, the border authorities in Australia canceled Djokovic's visa upon arrival. He was sent to immigration detention before his lawyers filed an appeal. Although his team won the case, the government re-canceled his visa. The judges rejected Djokovic's appeal thereafter. The Serbian had been cleared to compete at the Australian Open this time. And, he has returned with a bang!
36 consecutive wins in Australia
Earlier this month, Djokovic won the Adelaide International 1 after beating Sebastian Korda in the final. Djokovic won his second title in Adelaide after sealing the tournament back in 2007. Djokovic is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the fourth-most men's singles titles in the Open Era (92). The Serbian has now won 36 consecutive matches in Australia.
Djokovic eyes his 10th Australian Open title
Djokovic could become the only man with 10 titles at the Australian Open. So far, he has three more titles than Roy Emerson and Roger Federer (6 each). He could just be the second man after Nadal with 10 or more titles at a major. Overall (men or women), Djokovic is only behind Margaret Court, who owns 11 titles at the Australian Open.