Novak Djokovic shows Carlos Alcaraz how it’s done with routine Paris victory
Novak Djokovic resumed regular service as he got off to a winning start at the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday. The top seed needed just an hour and 24 minutes to defeat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3 6-2. Following shock opening-round exits for Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev, the world No 1 ensured that he avoided an upset and showed them how it was done.
Djokovic stepped out onto the singles court for the first time in more than six weeks to a roaring reception inside the Accor Arena. The top seed was facing Etcheverry for the second time after beating the Argentine earlier this year in Rome.
It was a strong start for the record five-time champion in Paris, who started with an ace and took his opening service game with a winner that perfectly curved around his opponent and landed inside the back of the court. After some routine service holds, Djokovic kicked into another gear with the world No 31 serving at 3-4 down.
The Serb set up his first break point chances of the match, pouncing to give himself a chance to serve for the opening set. Djokovic took 6-3 following a dominant 42 minutes that saw him lose just six points on serve.
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He carried his momentum into the second as it was immediately advantage Djokovic with the 36-year-old breaking in the opening game. The world No 1 threw in some uncharacteristic errors after taking the lead, gifting Etcheverry his first break point on a double fault. But he found the perfect angle in the corner to save it and extended his run of games to four in a row.
Following a momentary blip, the second set quickly became one-way traffic for the Serb. Djokovic secured a double-break lead over the 24-year-old as he started racing towards the third round. Etcheverry was only able to get on the board one final time before the world No 1 ended his short run in Paris with a convincing straight-set victory.
It means that Djokovic is now two for two at this year’s Paris Masters, as he is also entered into the doubles draw where he won his opening match alongside Miomir Kecmanovic on Tuesday. The 36-year-old is on double duty on Wednesday, as he will team up with his compatriot again for their second doubles battle.
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The top seed will now face Tallon Griekspoor for a spot in the quarter-final. Djokovic has already beaten the world No 23 on two occasions, including earlier this year in Dubai. The world No 1 is still on the hunt for a record-extending sixth title in Paris-Bercy.
And Djokovic will likely be encouraged after seeing two of his biggest rivals – Alcaraz and Medvedev – crash out in their opening matches. The Spaniard was ousted by qualifier Roman Safiullin on Tuesday night while Medvedev lost to Grigor Dimitrov in a final set tiebreak earlier on Wednesday.
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