Novak DJOKOVIC celebrates birthday with victory over Yannick HANFMANN at Geneva Open

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 21:01
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Novak Djokovic marked his birthday with a return to winning ways, overcoming Yannik Hanfmann in his Geneva Open debut. Despite not showing his best form, Djokovic managed to secure a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the world No. 85, advancing to the quarterfinals.  
This match was Djokovic's first after receiving a bye in the first round as the top seed. Although he had a strong first set, his level dropped significantly at the start of the second, but he managed to recover.

Djokovic advances to Geneva Open quarterfinals

The Serbian, who turned 37 today, started the match evenly with his opponent. Djokovic did not offer many opportunities on his serve, achieving a solid 69% of first serves and winning 78% of those points. He capitalised on his opponent's second serves, winning 50% of those points.
Unlike in Rome, Djokovic limited his unforced errors. He maintained firm service games and took advantage of Hanfmann's errors in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, which was enough to hold for the rest of the set. In just 31 minutes, Djokovic claimed the set 6-4, making it seem like a straightforward day for the Serbian.
Hanfmann had more to say, breaking Djokovic's serve in the second game of the second set. The ghosts of Djokovic's loss to Alejandro Tabilo in the Rome Open began to surface as he found himself 0-3 down in the second set, committing several uncharacteristic unforced errors.
Djokovic at 2024 Monte-Carlo Masters
However, this was merely a blip in the match, as Djokovic shifted gears and secured three consecutive breaks while easily holding his service games. He turned the set around to seal a 6-4, 6-3 win in one hour and 12 minutes.
Although there was a phase in the match where the world No. 1 seemed outpaced by his opponent, it will remain a minor footnote in a match where Djokovic was the deserved winner. He will face the winner of the match between Denis Shapovalov (No. 123) and Tallon Griekspoor (No. 27) in the quarterfinals.

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