Novak Djokovic Is Still Perfect, Reaches Third Round Of French Open

Novak Djokovic Tennis

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PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s perfect season is still intact and his clay-court form still looks devastating after he reached the third round of the French Open when Victor Hanescu retired Wednesday because of injury.The second-seeded Serb, who joined 2009 champion Roger Federer in the third round at Roland Garros, improved to 39-0 in 2011 after Hanescu retired while trailing 6-4, 6-1, 2-3. Djokovic has won 41 straight matches dating to last year’s Davis Cup final.

“I keep on thinking only about the winning. I’m taking one match at a time,” Djokovic said. “Really, I’m not thinking about when this streak — this amazing streak — will end. So I guess that’s the right mental approach.”

If he makes the final, Djokovic will be assured of the No. 1 ranking in men’s tennis for the first time.

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and 2010 French Open finalist Sam Stosur also advanced to the third round. On the men’s side, No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain, No. 9 Gael Monfils of France and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro made it through.

Later Wednesday, defending women’s champion Francesca Schiavone was playing on centre court.

Djokovic, who won three clay-court tournaments leading up to Roland Garros and beat top-ranked Rafael Nadal in two of them, won seven straight games at one point and didn’t face any trouble from his Romanian opponent.

Hanescu called for a trainer to look at his left leg after losing the second set. The trainer came back out after Hanescu held to make it 3-2 in the third.

Djokovic then won the next two points before Hanescu called it quits.

In the next round, Djokovic will face Del Potro, who defeated Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

“Well, it’s a big challenge for both of us,” Djokovic said. “He’s a fantastic player who always deserved to be in the top five in the world, and I’m sure he’s going to come back very quickly there, because he has amazing groundstrokes and a big serve.”

Federer defeated French wild card Maxime Teixeira 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 to reach the third round. Teixeira is 1-1 at the French Open after winning his first tour-level match on Sunday.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion, despite being broken early in the match, made it look easy by winning 13 straight games from the first set to the third.

“He fought hard, and afterwards he was trying to get the best score,” Federer said of his 22-year-old opponent. “The score was balanced for 1½ sets, but even then he fought hard.”

Federer didn’t face a single break point in his opening match, and Teixeira managed only one on Wednesday — and he converted it. After the Frenchman held to go to 3-3, Federer dominated and didn’t lose another game until the Teixeira made it 4-1 in the third set.

Teixeira had beaten another French wild card, Vincent Millot, in the first round.

“I gave it all. I did what I could,” Teixeira said. “To play against Roger is an incredible experience. I’ll never forget it and it will be great memories.”

Federer will face 29th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, who beat Pere Riba of Spain 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. Tipsarevic took Federer to five sets in the third round of the 2008 Australian Open, eventually losing 10-8.

“I think he’s a dangerous player on the big courts against the big players. He played really well against these players, so let’s be careful,” Federer said. “Let’s be ready in advance, because he can vary his game on hard courts, on clay as well. He can do all sorts of things.”

Ferrer advanced by stopping Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The Spaniard has twice reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, in 2005 and ’08.

No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France, No. 23 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil and No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine also made it through.

Wozniacki defeated Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (6). The Dane trailed 6-3 in the tiebreaker but won the final five points, saving three set points to reach the third round.

“I started off really well, and everything was going the way I wanted it to,” said Wozniacki, who is still chasing her first Grand Slam title. “Second set, she played better. I started to play a little bit worse.”

Wozniacki, who won despite hitting nine fewer winners than her opponent, again played with a bandage on her left thigh.

“It’s preventative,” Wozniacki said. “I felt it a little bit last week and I didn’t want to make it worse, so I just do it for protection, because, I mean, there is no reason to make it worse.”

Stosur, who lost to Schiavone in last year’s final at Roland Garros, advanced to the third round by beating Simona Halep 6-0, 6-2. The eighth-seeded Stosur had 21 winners and broke her opponent six times before she served out the match at love.

Also advancing were No. 10 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, No. 11 Marion Bartoli of France, No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and No. 17 Julia Goerges of Germany.

Other winners were No. 28 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, No. 29 Peng Shuai of China and Gisela Dulko of Argentina.

Related: Roger Federer Still Rolling At Roland Garros