Top seed Novak Djokovic continued his commanding progress at the French Open with a 6-0 6-3 6-2 drubbing of Colombian Daniel Galan to smoothly reach the last 16 for the 11th consecutive year on Saturday.
Djokovic was hardly extended by his 153rd-ranked opponent and even found time to double up as a court sweeper when the match was momentarily stopped by rain. Djokovic, like the 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, managed to reach the fourth round without a set loss but things are likely to be difficult for the 33-year old with dominant Russian Karen Khachanov up next. Djokovic won the first set in 28 minutes and when he broke for a 2-0 lead in the second set, a rare ‘triple bagel’ seemed like a possibility.
But Galan, a loser from qualifying, got on board with a jarring forehand winner resulting in loud cheers from a small crowd on Court Phillipe Chartier. The heavy rains resulted in Galan getting exposed to elements which Djokovic did not. The Serb commanded the chair umpire to halt the play after his opponent slipped during a rally on a muddy baseline.
After the groundsmen with wheelbarrows surfaced the court with more clay, a laughing Djokovic offered a hand, grabbing a sweeper, before getting on with his day job with the roof closed.
He said that he saw the forecast and that it didn’t look good. He argued why not use the roof when you have it. He added that the whole thing cost the game a lot of time. Djokovic has not been wasting anytime in Paris and once in play the outcome was doubtless, although Galan did make a mark with some courageous tennis of his own.
Djokovic, bidding for his second title at Roland Garros and the 18th Grand Slam, saved four break points in the fierce third set before concluding his 71st French Open match win, taking him past Roger Federer into second place, only behind Nadal who has 96.