Novak Djokovic enjoyed a victorious start to his campaign at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open. The Serb managed to see off a confident Taylor Fritz, who came into the match after three consecutive wins in the Caja Mágica. However, this match proved to be one step too far, understandably as he was playing the world number one. In just 65 minutes, Djokovic sealed his passage to the third round, 6-4, 6-2.
Djokovic managed to unpick the American player’s plan with a high service percentage and some solid baseline play. The two-time Madrid champion came through his first match more easily than expected and his performance suggested he may have the game to claim his third Ion Tiriac Trophy (2011 and 2016). He was not among the favourites for the title before arriving in the Spanish capital, but he has proved that he cannot be ruled out.
He stepped onto the Manolo Santana Centre Court determined to stamp his authority on the competition. He was inspired on his service (8 aces and 87% of points won on his first), and a break in the seventh game of the match was enough for him to take the fist set. The Serb and American had already crossed paths this season at the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, with Djokovic taking the victory. It was the fact that they had met so recently and the number one’s record this season that led the fans to expect Fitz to bounce back in the second set, but nothing could have been further from the reality.
Djokovic has come to Madrid for one thing and one thing only, the title, and we know what happens when he sets himself a goal. He took the second set 6-2 and his opener was done and dusted. It was a double dose of good news for the Serbian, who apart from his first victory in Madrid, is also celebrating 250 weeks at the pinnacle of world tennis.