Thursday’s third-round match at the Rolex Paris Masters certainly will not be the easiest match Novak Djokovic ever plays. The match did start off easily enough for Djokovic, however. He won the first three games of the first set and looked in total control. Then, and all respect to Djokovic’s opponent, Tallon Griekspoor, Djokovic seemed to lose his bearings a bit.
Much of that could be attributed to Griekspoor showing absolutely zero fear in facing arguably the greatest tennis player ever. Instead of letting the pace of the match be dictated by Novak Djokovic, Griekspoor simply began swinging away. His forehand was immense and well-placed.
Djokovic also began having more unforced errors than winners and his serve, especially his second serve, abandoned him. The Serb would finish the match with an astounding seven double faults, many coming at exactly the wrong time. So after leading the first set 3-0, Griekspoor stormed back to take the set 6-4.
Novak Djokovic shakes off Tallon Griekspoor to move to quarters at Paris Masters
The second set went to a tie-break which, of course, meant an advantage for Novak Djokovic. He simply doesn’t lose tie-breaks and he got the second set in a 7-2 tie-break.
Djokovic made the third set a bit hard on himself, too. He broke Griekspoor to lead 4-3 but then Griekspoor broke back. Tied at 4-all, Djokovic got another break as the weight of playing so well for so long against Djokovic seemed to begin to bother Griekspoor.
Novak Djokovic was able to serve out the match to win in three sets. Still, unlike other top players at the Rolex Paris Masters, such as Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic was ultimately able to take care of his business and move on to the quarterfinals where he will play the winner of Holger Rune versus Daniel Altmaier.
The quarters will be held on Friday with the finals being on Sunday. The close win might be the closest anyone comes to defeating Djokovic in Paris.