Australian Open 2020: Djokovic to 'enjoy every moment' after win, Shapovalov crashes out

By Sports Desk January 20, 2020

Novak Djokovic vowed to "enjoy every moment" after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on an opening day that saw seeds Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric crash out.

Djokovic started the defence of his title with a battling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Losing his serve three times while dropping the third set and having to edge a close tie-break in the opener meant Djokovic spent longer than he would have hoped on court, but he relished the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter.

Asked about winning his 900th Tour-level match, the second seed said: "I'm obviously very proud of all the achievements, but at the same time I try to remind myself how grateful I am to be playing this sport at a high level at this stage of my career. 

"I can't take things for granted, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It's a New Year resolution, to enjoy more. It's easier said than done when you're on the court.

"Especially in my position, I'm expected to win all my matches, there's a lot of pressure and emotions involved. But I try to really enjoy it, the two and half hours spent on court were a lot of fun."


SHAPOVALOV AND CORIC FALL AT FIRST HURDLE

The biggest shock of the day saw number 13 seed Shapovalov fall to a four-set defeat against Hungarian world number 67 Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics won 7-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and 13 minutes as the highly-rated Canadian crashed out.

Shapovalov lost his temper with the umpire when he was giving a code violation for racket abuse despite it not being damaged.

"I think that's a terrible call from the [umpire]," Shapovalov said. "The rule [according to] what I know is that if I break my racket, yeah you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything and it didn't impact anyone and the racket was still intact. He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

Number 25 seed Coric was eliminated in straight sets by Sam Querrey. 

The American won 6-3 6-4 6-4 as a dreadful run for Coric, which has seen him win only one of his last 10 matches, went on.
 

FEDERER AND TSITSIPAS COAST THROUGH

Roger Federer progressed in comfortable fashion, the third seed seeing off Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in only 81 minutes.

Johnson only forced one break-point opportunity in the match against the 20-time grand slam and did not convert it.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion and a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, got off to a smooth start, defeating Salvatore Caruso 6-0 6-2 6-3.

 

RAIN LEAVES MATCHES UNFINISHED

Inclement weather left a host of Monday's other first-round matches incomplete, with Reilly Opelka closing in on an upset against Fabio Fognini when play was suspended at 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 1-0.

Rising star Jannik Sinner has a 2-0 lead over Max Purcell with the third set level at 4-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut was a set up against Feliciano Lopez.

Milos Raonic is one game away from a first-round win, his match against Lorenzo Giustino all-but over with the Canadian 6-2 6-1 5-2 to the good.

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    Stefanos Tsitsipas sealed a stunning defence of his Open 13 Marseille title as he crushed the hopes of Felix Auger-Aliassime.

    The brilliant Greek has endured a rocky start to 2020 but put a run of early-tournament defeats behind him with another success in the south of France, beating Canadian Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-4 in the final.

    It means that for the second yet in a row, Tsitsipas has run through the Marseille draw without dropping a set, while for Auger-Aliassime the wait for a first ATP singles trophy goes on.

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    Tsitsipas was highly impressive and the 21-year-old roared in delight when Auger-Aliassime ripped a forehand over the baseline on match point.

    The trophy presentation became a charming love-in between two of the stars of the new generation in the men's game.

    Addressing Auger-Aliassime, who held a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head before this clash, Tsitsipas said: "It's great to be fighting on the court against you.

    "I feel like you make me a better a player. And I hope I make you that too.

    "I would like to congratulate you on a great week. Someone had to win the title - it was a very close match.

    "I've been following you, even when you've not been playing the same tournaments as me.

    "Keep putting in the extra work and I'm sure you can achieve a lot of things in the future which will be very good for our sport and for the younger generations."

    It was a fifth tour title for Tsitsipas, and it seems only a matter of time before Auger-Aliassime begins carrying off the big trophies.

    These two could contest many more finals in the years ahead.

    Auger-Aliassime said: "We've known each other since juniors. It's getting tougher and tougher to play you - we're equal now - two wins each - so it's a great rivalry and a great fight every time against you, but congrats for this one."

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    Down a set when forced off on Friday, top seed Thiem failed to stave off a quarter-final loss once play resumed on Saturday.

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    "After the first set I just figured out how to play against him and just kept trying to do it and then it worked," he said, as quoted by the ATP Tour.

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    Second seed Tsitsipas was in impressive form as he dispatched Alexander Bublik in the day's first match, running out 7-5 6-3 victor to reach the final of the tournament for a second year in a row.

    The Greek continued his run of not dropping a set at the competition since a first-round defeat to Nicolas Mahut two years ago, racking up a 14th successive win in Marseille.

    Tsitsipas was particularly devastating on his own serve in the second set, dropping just a single point, and he was delighted to be able to keep Bublik under control.

    "I tried to stay in the match as much as possible and play each point individually," he said, according to quotes on the ATP Tour website. "I know he can be [Bublik] quite unexpected.

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    Auger-Aliassime will be hoping to go one better than he did in Rotterdam last week, having lost in the final of that event to Gael Monfils.

    The Canadian did not have it all his own way against Simon, who eliminated top second Daniil Medvedev in the last round, but Auger-Aliassime showed admirable resilience to claim a double break in the first set after losing his own serve early on.

    Simon took the second set to a tie-break, but he rarely appeared to be in the conversation at that stage, with Auger-Aliassime eventually winning 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

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