Novak Djokovic Races past Carballes Baena at Roland Garros
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic downs Roberto Carballes Baena (not pictured) in straight sets to reach the third round at Roland Garros, Paris, France. Photo credit: French Open/FFT.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic raced past world No. 63 Roberto Carballes Baena with a straightforward win to advance to the third round at Roland Garros for the 19th consecutive year in Paris on Thursday.

Top seed Novak Djokovic continues his quest for a fourth crown at the French Open, having secured a spot in the third round, needing three sets, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, to see off Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena after two hours and four minutes.

Next, he will square off against Italian Lorenzo Musetti or Frenchman Gael Monfils.

In his on-court interview, he shared: “I’m glad I came through the opening [two] rounds in straight sets. Again, at the beginning, in the first set, I was challenged. He was playing very well, aggressive from the start. It took me a little bit of time to start swinging through the ball a bit more loose. Crucial break to clinch the first set. After that, the second and third set really went my way.”

In his 20th straight appearance at the major, the 24-time Grand Slam champion took to Court Philippe-Chatrier on Thursday to play under the fitted roof, two-time ATP winner Carballes Baena in the second round.

Yet to drop a set, the world number one probably showcased his best performance in quite a while, staying on course for a 25th record Slam title.

Carballes Baena broke to start the first set; after breaking straight back, Djokovic held to take a 2-1 lead.

Then, some bold play by the experienced Spaniard, 31, who fended off four break points, saw him hold his ground, and after he fired a forehand winner, a lengthy fourth game went his way.

The tight opener went with serves until Djokovic broke twice, closing out 6-4 in 51 minutes.

Serving at an average speed of 200 km/h, the Serbian won 78 percent on his first delivery, converting two of six break-point opportunities.

In addition, he faced just one break point, hitting 11 winners to just eight unforced errors.

A quick start to the second set saw the Belgrade born converting a double break en route to open a 4-0 lead.

After breaking straight back to earn his first game in the second set, Carballes Baena double-faulted to drop serve, giving his rival a 5-1 advantage.

The 98-time ATP titlist stayed sharp on return and serve, charging at the net when in need, delivering timely volleys to neutralize his adversary while showcasing his trademark athleticism.

After a battle at deuce, Djokovic rushed to claim the set 6-1 in just 34 minutes.

The three-time French Open champion built upon his momentum, breaking to kick off the third set and soon placed himself two games up on the scoreboard.

The 37-year-old broke twice in the fifth game on his way to wrap up the set 6-2 and the match, advancing to the third round, continuing to improve his game.

He won 72 percent of the points in his service games. Moreover, Djokovic hit 43 winners and 24 unforced errors, winning 77 percent of his net approaches.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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