Novak Djokovic won his second straight match in Tokyo Wednesday easing past Japanese veteran Go Soeda 6-3, 7-5.
“I think I played a pretty good tennis match. From the baseline, I was solid, aggressive when I needed to be and taking the ball early. I served very well until that game when I was serving for the match at 5-3. I made some double faults, I missed all my first serves, so I didn’t serve that well that game, allowing him to break back and come back to the match,” Djokovic said. “But there were not too many negatives today, because I had chances constantly. I had match points at 5-4, but he just came up with some very good shots and fought hard and that’s why we give him credit. But from my side, I’m really pleased.”
Djokovic after wins over Alexei Popyrin and Soeda, Djokovic will have a day off before running into Lucas Pouille in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“I probably played even on a higher level than the first round,” Djokovic said. “So the game is going in the right direction, that’s for sure.”
Young American Reilly Opelka also was a winner.
On Thursday in second round play, David Goffin will face Denis Shapovalov and Hyeon Chung collides with Marin Cilic.
“He’s very talented, amazing groundstrokes from both sides. When he has time, he hits very hard. He’s serving really well, a lefty, unpredictable sometimes,” Shapovalov said ahead of a first-time meeting with Goffin. “I have to play very solid, I have to try to be aggressive, make him miss, because he can miss sometimes. But if he’s on the ball and he sees the ball like a football, he can play very well. I will try to fight like I did today, just play a little bit better, serve well, and we will see.”
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