Novak Djokovic wins first match at Eastbourne

Novak Djokovic defeated Vasek Pospisil in their rain-delayed second-round match in Eastbourne 6-4 6-3.

Novak held serve at the start of the first set and was leading 30-15 in the second game, only for rain to start falling. The match was suspended until Wednesday.

Novak broke in the 10th game of the opening set, and once again in the sixth game of the second to advance into the quarters after one hour and 25 minutes of play. He saved all three break points he faced en-route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory, his 25th match win of the season.

“I enjoyed myself very much. Not so much yesterday as we were waiting for the rain to stop. It’s great to be in Eastbourne, it’s a wonderful little town. It’s a beautiful Centre Court. I enjoyed every minute of it, ”

“The movement is very different from clay or hard courts. You’ve got to be very soft, very gentle, but yet very reactive… I’m trying to get as much of the match situations as possible, hear the chair umpire say 30-all, 4-all. Those kind of intense moments.”

“It’s a very kind of informal tournament in a good way, where you can go around the grounds and kind of interact with people,” said Djokovic. “Sure, people come up to you, but they respect you if you’re going with a purpose to a certain court to observe a match or something like that. That’s what happened the other day. People are really kind of respectful and giving me space for certain time until I finished with my scouting.

“That’s the nice thing about this tournament. I don’t get to experience that. Usually I am, like most of the top players, in the locker rooms or especially in the areas where the players are going to be around. So it’s nice to go around the outside courts and observe, because that’s what we all used to do. It’s good to do that again for a change.”

“I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the past eight, nine years, and kind of enter most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favourites to win it.

“It is ‘liberating’ a bit. It releases a bit of the pressure. It’s always there. I mean, you still feel it. It’s part of who I am, what I do. And what I have achieved so far has added to those expectations from the people around.

“I try to lower those expectations myself, because I really want to be as much as I can, at this stage of my life and career, in the moment and try to focus only on what comes up next. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to win trophies and so forth. Of course I do, that’s why I’m playing professional tennis. But it’s just that I need to take things a bit slower and try and re-calibrate so I can get to the level where I want to get.
said Novak after the match.

For a place in the Aegon International last four, Djokovic will meet American Donald Young (ATP #47, H2H 1-0) who beat his compatriot Jared Donaldson 6-4, 7-5.


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