Novak Djokovic defeated Andreas Seppi 6-1 7-5 7-6(6) on Friday night in the Margaret Court Arena.
Seppi defeated Roger Federer in the third round here last year. Nole converted three of his six break point opportunities and saved all three break points he faced, as he sealed victory in two hours and 21 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
Novak overcame strong resistance from his persistent opponent. The 28-year-old earned a two-sets-to-love advantage, before the Italian made him do some hard work. Seppi held two set points in the third-set tiebreak, but the world no.1 rallied to take it 8-6 and advance.
“It’s not easy to stay with him on the baseline, you know,” Djokovic explained. “So I think that I started very well. A set and then a couple of break points early in the second. Didn’t use that. He started serving well. I backed up half a step back. He started playing more aggressive tennis. Not as many unforced errors. I must be pleased with a straight-set win because both sets, especially the third, could have gone a different way.
“But I’m still not very satisfied with certain parts of the second and third set. I think I could have done better. But I played a quality player who took out Federer last year. He is not afraid to play big tennis on a big stage. He likes it, I think.”
“I think because of the very high standard that you set yourself with great results over the years, you expect from yourself a lot,” he said. “But it’s your choice whether or not you’re accepting that challenge and you’re accepting that demand. But it’s true that the more you win, actually the higher expectations are from yourself and from others.
“But again, it’s better to be in that position than to not have that success. So I’m personally very grateful to be in the position to play and be the best in what I do. That’s what I always dreamed of. I think each and every tennis player starts this sport with an idea to be the best. So, of course, it makes me proud, all the achievements. But I still feel like I can do more. So that’s something that keeps me going.”
“Dates are, I think, one of the fruits that give you the low glycaemic index, which is very important, because you don’t want to have a strong shot of sugar and then it takes you down very rapidly,” he explained.
“But I do really pay a lot of attention to nutrition. More than that, it’s my passion and it’s my hobby. It’s something that I enjoy exploring more.
“People get to see what we eat and drink on the court and think that that’s giving us the hydration or the energy, sustained energy, throughout the match. But it’s actually what you do before that is even more important: the way you hydrate yourself, prepare yourself, what you eat the hours before, how much you sleep and all these things.
“It’s not only about what you see on the stage but backstage that prepares you for that so you don’t get into the crisis, physical crisis, like cramps and so forth that I see many players get into because they don’t prepare themselves well.”
For a place in the quarter-finals, Novak will face Gilles Simon on Sunday.