Djokovic overcomes back issues with straight sets win

Jessica Allison
January 22, 2018

"People say that at this level you have to be a professional tennis player, fit and tough", he said.

Fourteenth seed Djokovic broke in the eighth game though but failed to convert his first match point and then faced a break point after losing a rally that left him gasping for air.

"It was obvious we both suffered on the court today". Monfils was struggling to such an extent that commentator Jim Courier said on TV that he was "pretty much toast", which may or may not have been a clever pun. "It happened here. I'm still young, so I've got time". "I'm just glad that I managed to come out on top". I don't feel, by any means, it's a massive catastrophe. I tried to cool down, but even with ice towel, the water [I could not].

Novak Djokovic in action against Gael Monfils. "We both struggled. Maybe he struggled a bit more at the end of the second set and the entire third set".

"It was expensive, because we play for prize money".

It's supposed to be even hotter on Friday, with a forecast high of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

He added: "I think there are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognise that you might need to give players a few extra hours until it [the temperature] comes down". I understand there is a factor of tickets. We have to take that in consideration.

When a medical attendant stopped play to check on the world number 38, microphones picked up audio of the doctor asking "Do you know where you are?" It's the beginning of the season. Also you can see the crowds, nobody was there watching under the sun.

"I think there is a limit".

Djokovic echoed Monfils' concerns, describing his time on the court as "brutal" and called on organisers to take the players into account when planning the schedule. He hasn't lost a match this year. I'm very grateful for that.

'I had a lot of faith and self belief and I know what I'm capable of.

"They deserve it", he said at the Australian Open.

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Novak Djokovic stretches for a return during his win over Gaël Monfils.

Wawrinka, 32, was attempting to make the third round for the 10th consecutive year.

"Air movement is important. if Rod Laver Arena had a cross-flow opening on two sides you'd have a noticeable breeze pass through". Five of his 19 Grand Slam singles titles have been in Australia. "I did my job in two sets against someone that's been troubling in the past for me", she said.

Federer, 36, will next play French veteran Richard Gasquet, who is 31. They gasped for breath, doubled over time and again in a bid to stall play in the near-3-hour exchange.

In another eye-catching contest between former champions, Angelique Kerber continued her resurgence with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova was banned for after testing positive for the drug meldonium here in 2016, when she reached the quarterfinals, and finished past year ranked No. 60. Last year, he was forced to accept that he had surrendered his invincible aura of the previous two years when he won five majors in quick succession and was clearly the world's best player.

But there should be no debate that Djokovic's victory on Thursday was a tribute to his fitness in his first tournament after an extended injury break.

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina serves during his third round match against Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic took his fifth break point of the set at 4-3 before levelling the match at a set apiece.

Among the men, seventh-seeded David Goffin was shocked by Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 1-6, 6-7 (4-7). Players must keep the conditions at the first Grand Slam of the calendar year in mind at all times.

Joining her on the sidelines was Briton's Johanna Konta who fell 4-6, 5-7 to American lucky loser Bernarda Pera.

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