Novak Djokovic improved to 10-0 against lucky losers on Thursday, coasting 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 against Swiss Henri Laaksonen to make the third round at Roland Garros.
The 2016 champion converted six of his 10 break points and spent only 93 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Djokovic is going for the “Nole Slam” again this fortnight, having won the past three Grand Slams, including a record-setting seventh Australian Open in January.
“He doesn’t give anything for free and you have to earn every single point,” Laaksonen said. “I did everything I could.”
When asked what has pleased him most in two matches at Roland Garros this week, Djokovic said, “I think I served well. I used my forehand from different parts of the court really well. Solid backhand. Just two very solid matches. I didn’t drop my level too much. I didn’t spend too much time on the court. So all is going in the right direction.”
Djokovic, through to the Roland Garros third round for the 14th time, will face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso, No. 147 in the ATP Rankings, for a place in the Round of 16. Caruso, 26, beat Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to make his first third round at a Grand Slam.
“I’ve never trained [with Caruso],” said Djokovic. “[I] don’t know much about him, to be honest… I’m going to have to do my homework, do analysis on him. I watched him play a little bit today when I was waiting for my match. I saw he came from qualifications. He won what, now, five matches? So there is a lot of confidence. He has nothing to lose. I’m sure he’s going to be very motivated to play his best.”
A disappointed Simon admitted, “A lot of things happened. It was hard for me to believe it. During the third set, I was not satisfied with what I was doing on court. He was more confident, he had the momentum, and this is what is the key to success in such crucial times.”