Novak Djokovic struggled early on against Maxime Cressy at the Paris Masters as he tried to come to terms with the American’s unique style, but once he found his groove, he was unstoppable.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner began his title defense at Paris Bercy with three consecutive titles, although the last of those trophies came at the Astana Open three weeks ago.
And it took her a while to settle down and develop a good strategy against Cressy as the first set went to a tie break, but she eventually finished 7-6 (7-1), 6-4-Win.
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Cressy faced three break points in game eight, but his booming serve got him out of trouble as he went into the tie break. However, Djokovic took over and closed out the set on the first try.
The World No. 34 secured another break point in the opening game of the second set, but Djokovic gradually began to discover his service and volley game, collapsing in the ninth game before serving.
“It was very intense, just a lot of pressure,” said the sixth. “When you play someone who serves so well, first serve and second serve, you don’t have a lot of room to relax and maybe play some softer games. You just have to be alert all the time. Thanks to him for serving great in some important moments. i had my chances [in the] first sentence to break it, second too.
He added: “A break came at the right time, actually the perfect time. I was very happy with the way I held my serve, I didn’t have a break point.”
Djokovic was also impressed with Cressy’s serving and volleying tactics, saying he “respects” the “almost old style”.
“It changes a lot because not only do you have to recover the lap, you also have to put it under your feet, which is very difficult,” he said. “It’s good to see someone come in after the first and second serves.
“From the point of view of tennis fans, it looks different. I appreciate it, I respect it. It takes courage to play this modern tennis these days, this kind of style that is almost an old style. They don’t have many players who do that. I may be the only one on top.”
The Serb meets either Karen Khachanov or Marc-Andrea Hüsler in the third round.
In the first round, Great Britain’s No. 2 Dan Evans beat fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round after beating American Brandon Nakashima 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, while compatriot Jack Draper won 6-4, 6-4. Arthur Rinderknech to set up a match against 16th seed Frances Tiafoe.
In the first quarter of the top half of the draw, Andrey Rublev posted a solid 6-2, 6-3 win over John Isner in the second round, while Grigor Dimitrov beat Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (7-3). 5). 7- . 6 (7-5) to face Fabio Fognini.
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