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Djokovic makes no mistake this time

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his win over Paul-Henri Mathieu of France during their men's singles match at the Sydney International tennis tou...

Australia Sydney International Tennis

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his win over Paul-Henri Mathieu of France during their men's singles match at the Sydney International tennis tou...

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic wasn't involved in a first-match upset this time around, easily beating Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-1, 6-2 Wednesday at the Sydney International.
Last week, Djokovic lost in straight sets to Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the first round of the Brisbane International. Then, he said he was struggling to find his rhythm with a new racket and wasn't overly concerned about the loss.
On Wednesday, he backed up that claim with a strong display against Mathieu in searing heat at the Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Those temperatures should help set him up for his defense at the Australian Open beginning Monday in Melbourne, where, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) to the south, it tends to get just as equally hot and steamy.
The Serbian's serve still wasn't perfect Wednesday with the new racket, but he was helped by Mathieu, who was only able to take advantage of three of his seven break-point chances.
Djokovic was cheered on by a large and well-behaved section of Serbian fans dressed in red and waving national flags. During the match, the Serbian player sometimes faced that section and raised his arms in appreciation, drawing more cheers.
Djokovic received a first-round bye along with three other top seeds, and two of them advanced along with him on Wednesday to the quarterfinals _ No. 3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, whom Djokovic beat in the Australian Open final last year, and No. 4 David Nalbandian of Argentina.
Tsonga beat Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-4, 6-1, although Tsonga was troubled by a back complaint at times, and twice received treatment during his match on Ken Rosewall Arena. Nalbandian beat Michael Llodra of France 6-1, 6-3.
Croatia's Mario Ancic beat seventh-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-2, 6-1 and next plays Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Second-seeded Gilles Simon of France played countryman Richard Gasquet later Wednesday.
Top-seeded Serena Williams of the United States was scheduled to play Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in a quarterfinal match later at the joint ATP-WTA tournament.
Second-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet. Cornet saved four match points in the final game before Safina, who was serving, closed the match out.
Veteran Ai Sugiyama of Japan made it to the semifinals without taking to the court, receiving a walkover when former U.S. Open champion and fifth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia withdrew with an abdominal illness. Sugiyama next plays Safina.


Updated : 2021-03-07 08:10 GMT+08:00