Djokovic Recovers From Losing Second Set To Triumph At Indian Wells Open

Djokovic Recovers From Losing Second Set To Triumph At Indian Wells Open

by Jordan Reynolds

Novak Djokovic needed to show his resilience to defeat a very impressive Aleksandar Vukic in three sets at the Indian Wells Open.

Djokovic is making his first appearance in Indian Wells since 2019. He has won the event on five occasions, although the last of these was back in 2016, when he beat Milos Raonic in the final.

The Serbian legend had already entertained the fans in California on the practice courts. Djokovic played Daniil Medvedev in a practice set. This preparatory set for the tournament was won by Medvedev.

Djokovic also reacted to the news of Rafael Nadal withdrawing from the event. This is unsurprising, since many in the tennis world believe Djokovic and Nadal share the greatest rivalry the sport has ever seen.

Most were expecting the 36-year-old to comfortably overcome Vukic. However, the Australian played a lot of very good tennis and made it an enjoyable affair for the fans on Court 1.

Djokovic started in ruthless fashion by breaking in the first game of the match. He then threatened to break a second time but Vukic managed to stand up to that test to win his first game of the set.

The Australian took confidence from that and some impressive hitting from the baseline saw him earn a break point in the very next game. In characteristic style, Djokovic served his best under pressure to see off that danger.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion's hard and consistent baseline hitting earned him another break in the seventh game. Despite Vukic not playing badly, Djokovic took the opening set 6-2.

Any fears of Vukic losing heart after the first set were quickly alleviated at the start of set 2. In the second game, he took his third break point chance to strike first and lead 2-0.

Djokovic looked set to respond when he lead 40-0 in the following Vukic service game. But he surprisingly missed a routine winner opportunity on his first break point, allowing Vukic to recover and hold.

The Serbian did not make the same mistake when he had break point in the next Vukic service game and broke on his first opportunity. Each players then held until the score stood at 6-5.

Djokovic then made some surprising errors to give Vukic two set points. The Australian hit an absolutely stunning forehand return on the second of those opportunities to win the set 7-5 and force a decider.

Vukic will undoubtedly have expected a response from Djokovic and that is exactly what happened. Sharp returning earned the 10-time Australian Open champion two break points in the third game, but Vukic managed to battle through and hold on that occasion.

Eventually, Djokovic's pressure did overwhelm Vukic. The 36-year-old broke in the next service game, with his opponent finally starting to make some consistent unforced errors from the baseline.

There was only one winner after that. Djokovic broke once more at 5-3 on his second match point to seal the victory. It finished 6-2 5-7 6-3 to Djokovic after a terrific contest.


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