World number one Novak Djokovic says courts at the Australian Open are playing so fast, it’s like playing on “ice”.
The reigning champion needed four sets to get past Frances Tiafoe, beating the American 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(2) 6-3 to reach the third round.
Djokovic served the most aces he’s ever achieved in a match - 26 - and he thinks that’s mostly down to the surface, and also coach Goran Ivanisevic.
“He gave me a few good tips there,” said Djokovic.
Honestly it’s like ice out there - I don’t know what they’ve done but the speed of the court has been the fastest in the last 15 years, the fastest I’ve ever experienced here at the Australian Open.
‘It’s like ice out there’ - Djokovic on court speed
“I don’t know what the reason for that but it keeps getting faster and faster. You need to serve well, if you don’t, if you’re playing against someone that is solid, it’s tough to win matches on this court.”
Djokovic admitted it was tough to find his rhythm early in the match against the talented Tiafoe:
I enjoy the fight, he gave it his all, he really was playing at a very high level - he was not making many unforced errors.
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“He was just so solid. I couldn’t penetrate through that backhand corner. I had to change the pattern of play and I honestly wasn’t happy the way I played in the second and third (sets).
“I was passive and didn’t really feel great on the court, but I think the serve was getting me out of trouble. Credit to him, he played really well.”
Highlights: Tiafoe takes set off Djokovic but world No.1's class prevails
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