Novak Djokovic sweeps into French Open third round

Novak Djokovic

French Open

Venue:
Roland Garros, Paris
Date:
26 May to 9 June
Coverage:
Live radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website, mobiles and the BBC Sport app

Novak Djokovic overcame Argentina's Guido Pella on a rainy Paris day to set up an intriguing third-round clash against Grigor Dimitrov at the French Open.

The world number one took to Court Philippe Chatrier later than scheduled at 16:00 local time after the predicted bad weather interrupted play.

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal did not make it on to court and will have to return on Friday to take on Slovakia's Martin Klizan.

Djokovic was held up once again by the rain in the second set but, when on court, wasted no time in seeing off world number 83 Pella 6-2 6-0 6-2, to reach the last 32.

"It's like deja vu from two days ago, you know, coming in and out and warming up five times," said Djokovic.

"But it is the way it is, it's weather. You can't affect the nature. I'm just glad that I finished the match today."

He will next meet Dimitrov, the Bulgarian 26th seed, who beat Djokovic on the Madrid clay earlier this month.

Dimitrov made it through around a couple of rain delays with a comprehensive 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over France's Lucas Pouille on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and Djokovic was clearly determined not to hang about on Chatrier.

Moving Pella around with his characteristically precise groundstrokes he opened up a space to thump away a smash and break for 4-2, and a run of 11 straight games either side of the rain delay as good as ended the contest.

When the sun briefly shone as he was closing on victory, Djokovic gestured to the sky to clear, much to the shivering crowd's delight.

He will face Dimitrov on Saturday, weather permitting, in a match that is already the talk of Roland Garros.

"We played a few times, and the last one was in Madrid, a tough match," said Djokovic.

"But he definitely played great there. I think he got more confident as he was getting big wins in last few months, and so he's a tough player to beat now, definitely.

"And even though maybe his style of the game could be better on the hard court or faster surfaces, he's showing that he can play equally well on clay. He pushed Nadal to a tough three sets in Monaco. He beat me in Madrid.

"It's going to be a tough one for both of us, definitely. I need to be on top of my game."

Dimitrov admitted: "It's different when you play a Masters event, best of three sets, and then you come to a Grand Slam. Your mindset, everything you set up in a different way.

"I feel I'm playing good. I know I can bring a bit more steam into the game. I think I might need that in the next round."

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