Djokovic sees off plucky Stoppini
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14
The defending champion made relatively light work of the Italian in the opening set but had to come from a break down in the second and 4-0 down in the third to earn his win in sweltering conditions.
The Serbian has had a faltering build-up to the first grand slam of the year with a first-round loss in Brisbane followed by a semi-final exit at the hands of Jarko Nieminen in Sydney last week, and he looked far from assured early on.
But once he settled into his stride and needed just 31 minutes to take the first set 6-2.
The start of the second set went with serve until the fourth game where the Serbian finally got the breakthrough.
He then held his own serve before breaking Stoppini, ranked 220 in the world, for a second time to take the set.
The third set was a different matter altogether with the Italian racing out to a 4-0 lead. But with the thought of a fourth set looming in almost 35 degrees heat, Djokovic stepped up the intensity to get back to 4-3.
His experience then began to tell as Stoppini faltered and Djokovic kept up the pressure to pull himself level at 5-5 before serving a love game to ease himself ahead.
Stoppini was then unable to hold serve, handing Djokovic a second-round clash with Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who beat Brazilian Marcos Daniel 6-4 6-4 6-1.