Tim Henman was shocked by the attitude shown by Novak Djokovic, after the world No. 1 ‘steamrolled’ his way past Yoshihito Nishoka in the opening round of the French Open. Djokovic saw off his Japanese opponent in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-1 6-0.
Despite it only being the first round, the Serb showcased the passion and attitude usually reserved for the latter stages of a tournament – and former British No.1 Tim Henman was surprised by what he saw.
Discussing Djokovic’s performance on Eurosport, the Englishman said: “His performance was one thing, his ball striking, the consistency on serve, but I was surprised by his attitude, he was so pumped up. There was a lot of fist pumping, the screaming and shouting out, for a first-round match at a Grand Slam, for someone who has won 20 of them.
“Is that a reflection of what happened in Australia where he didn’t get the opportunity? This is his next opportunity to get to 21 and he is so pumped up. You saw from the word go he was so motivated, focused and fired up, ready to get the job done and that’s what he did. He is trending in the right direction.”
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He added: “He is maybe a little bit underdone but getting the victory in Rome and to come here and make a little bit of a statement. Some of the other top players got off to good starts and Djokovic would have been aware of that, you saw all aspects of his game, his movement, his game, his touch, it really was a complete performance. He steamrolled Nishioka.”
The world No.1 headed to Roland Garros as slight tournament favourite ahead of both in-form teenager Carlos Alcaraz and 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Similarly to Djokvoic both Alcaraz and Nadal began the tournament with straight-sets wins, as the former saw off Juan Londero, while the latter defeated Jordan Thompson.