Novak Djokovic fought back before bulldozing Marton Fuksovics in straight sets to reach the third round of the French Open.
The world number three sparked controversy earlier this week by writing “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia” on a camera lens. He told the Serbian media that he would do it again, but after his 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 6-3 victory, he instead opted to write his signature and a smiley face.
Speaking to reporters after his win, Djokovic said: “I’ll say it again, but I don’t need to because you have my quotes if you want to consider that.
“Of course I know a lot of people will disagree, but it is what it is. It’s something I stand for. So that’s it.”
“I have no further comment on that. I said what I needed to say.”
Djokovic beat Fuksovic
Djokovic, who is bidding for a record-breaking 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title, was forced to fight through an epic first set that lasted almost 90 minutes before eventually making light work of the next two.
The Serb initially took a 3-0 lead in the first set before a struggling Fuksovic made a comeback and eventually tied things in five games.
An increasingly frustrated Djokovic was seen shouting at his box during the first set before he eventually ended it by winning the tiebreaker 7–2.
World No. 83 Fuksovic’s spirit was crushed after toiling so hard without reward in the first set and Djokovic proceeded to break the Hungarian’s serve four times in a row as he claimed love in the second set and Go ahead 1-0 in the third.
Fuksovic immediately threatened a return to fighting, but Djokovic’s class eventually told and he will face Spanish 29th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last 32.
World No. 1 Alcaraj bows out of tough test
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz needed four sets to get through a tough preliminary test in the second round to beat Japan’s Taro Daniels.
Alcaraz, who enjoyed a dominant opening win over Flavio Coboli in his first match, made another blistering start against Daniel and won the opening set 6-1.
But Daniel jumped out to a 3-0 advantage early in the second, courtesy some relentless baseline hitting against the suddenly error-prone Spaniard, eventually clinching the set 6-3.
But the Japanese world number 112 was on the back foot again as Alcaraz concentrated to break early in the third on his way to claim another set at 6-1, before closing things out 6-2 in the fourth .
After beating Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-3 on Wednesday, Alcaraz will play 26th seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the third round.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas enjoyed an incident-free path to the last 32 with a straight sets 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over Roberto Carballes Baena.
Stan Wawrinka, a former French Open champion in 2015, lost in a five-set epic to Thanasi Kokkinakis, who had beaten Britain’s Dan Evans in the opening round.
The Australian, who came out on the wrong side of a five-set epic against Andy Murray at his home Grand Slam in January, won 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 this time. .
House favorite Garcia knocks out
In the women’s draw, fifth seed Caroline Garcia of France became the highest-ranked female player ever to be knocked out of the tournament with a second round loss to Ana Blinkova.
Blinkova, ranked 56th in the world, had never beaten a top-five player before, but came back from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 7-5 and finally win her ninth Match point won.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who could become world No 1 with a win at Roland Garros, beat fellow Belarusian Irina Shimanovich 7-5 6-2, while world No 3 Jessica Pegula progressed to the third round after her Opponent Camila Giorgi retired after losing. Opening set 6-2.
Jelena Ostapenko, a former French Open champion in 2017, lost to American Peyton Stearns 6-3 1-6 6-2, while ninth seed Daria Kasatkina defeated former finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 6-4.
Three-time quarter-finalist Elina Svitolina continued to impress in her comeback Slam, defeating Australian Storm Hunter 2-6 6-3 6-1.