ATP

Djokovic targets Olympic glory after Tokyo triumph

By Sports Desk October 06, 2019

Novak Djokovic landed his first title since Wimbledon by crushing John Millman in the Japan Open final.

The world number one cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory in Tokyo as he secured a 76th career singles tournament win.

This was Djokovic's first playing visit to the Japanese capital, and he hopes to return in 2020 to challenge for an Olympic gold medal, one of the few honours to have eluded him.

Australian Millman was playing his first ATP Tour final at the age of 30, and the qualifier predictably could not contain Serbia's 16-time grand slam winner.

Djokovic said of his latest success: "It was a fantastic win in every sense. I felt great on the court and felt really welcomed by the Japanese people off the court as well. They made me feel at home.

"We spent an amazing 10 days in Japan and I can't wait to be back next year hopefully for the Olympic Games."

The 32-year-old had to abandon his US Open fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka in early September, when two sets and a break behind, because of a shoulder injury.

He enjoyed proving his fitness has fully returned, while landing another trophy, a boost ahead of next week's higher-stakes Shanghai Masters.

Speaking of his performance, Djokovic added on Tennis TV: "I think this is definitely a level higher than in the last couple of months in terms of my tennis, and hopefully I can maintain that in Shanghai as well."

Related items

  • Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer results and form ahead of third-round match with John Millman Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer results and form ahead of third-round match with John Millman

    Roger Federer continues to dazzle the Melbourne public as he prepares to renew acquaintances with John Millman in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

    Trying to banish the memories of last year's shock fourth-round exit, third seed Federer has looked a class above in his two matches so far at Melbourne Park.

    The 20-time grand slam champion is eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title this year.

    We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his rematch against Australian favourite Millman.

     

    Form and results

    While stiffer tests are to come, any slight doubts over Federer and his lack of preparation ahead of the Australian Open have been dismissed. The 38-year-old progressed to the third round at Melbourne Park for the 21st straight year by easing past Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday. Federer tallied 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors.

    R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
    R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

    Next up

    It is a reunion for Federer and Millman, who sensationally eliminated the superstar from the US Open last 16 in 2018. Riding a wave of local support, the 47th-ranked Millman has seen off Ugo Humbert and 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz en route to his first third-round appearance at the Australian Open since 2016.

    Draw

    Red-hot American Tommy Paul or Marton Fucsovics would be next for Federer, should the Swiss sensation make it through. There has been plenty of buzz and hype surrounding 22-year-old Paul, who is beginning to realise his potential at Melbourne Park.

    What he said

    "I think the next match is really going to be a test for me because John is going to be there. He's fit like a fiddle. I've lost to him in the past in a best-of-five set match. I almost lost to him in Brisbane, as well, the first time I played against him. He's from this country, so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

  • Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic results and form ahead of third-round match with Yoshihito Nishioka Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic results and form ahead of third-round match with Yoshihito Nishioka

    Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is clicking into gear ahead of Friday's third-round clash with Yoshihito Nishioka in Melbourne.

    Djokovic has only dropped one set en route to round three at Melbourne Park, where a record-extending eighth title is up for grabs.

    The second seed has already reached a milestone at the year's first grand slam, celebrating his 900th ATP singles match victory.

    We take a closer look at Djokovic's form as he eyes another trip to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

    Form and results

    It was a relentless performance from Djokovic in the second round on Wednesday. After dropping a set and winning in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by overcoming tenacious German Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday, Djokovic was a class above midweek. The Serb star won 93 per cent of his first serves in a demolition of Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.

    R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1
    R2: bt Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2

    Next up

    Another game, another Japanese opponent for Djokovic. World number 71 Nishioka earned a showdown with the defending champion courtesy of his surprise win again Dan Evans on Wednesday. Djokovic and Nishioka have met once previously via last year's Davis Cup Finals, where the former cruised 6-1 6-2 for Serbia.

    Draw

    It could be an all-Serbian affair in the fourth round. If Djokovic, as expected, sees off Nishioka, either countryman Dusan Lajovic or Argentina's Diego Schwartzman await. Looking further ahead and last year's semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas - the sixth seed - could be a quarter-final opponent.

    What he said

    "I do have to keep going. I feel comfortable and confident playing in Australia. History of my results here have been very positive."

  • Australian Open 2020: Barty and Serena through as Osaka, Gauff set up showdown Australian Open 2020: Barty and Serena through as Osaka, Gauff set up showdown

    Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

    Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

    Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

    There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

     

    BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

    Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

    The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

    Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

    The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

    Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

     

    OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

    Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

    The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

    Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

    But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

    Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

     

    WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

    Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

    The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

    Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

    Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.