Novak Djokovic canters to win over Mahut
Nicolas Mahut endured a birthday to forget as he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic.
The Frenchman, who turned 30 on Saturday, came into the contest nursing a knee injury and his movement was severely restricted. He came up against an opponent in no mood to offer any sympathy and he was summarily dispatched 6-0 6-1 6-1.
Djokovic has approached the defence of his title with relish and powered ahead against Mahut. An early break handed the Serbian the breathing space required to take control of the contest and he secured two more breaks of serve to race through the opening set at a canter.
With his opponent clearly inhibited, Djokovic appeared to take his foot off the gas as he pulled a forehand wide and sent a backhand over the baseline to hand Mahut a break point. The Frenchman advanced behind a backhand and set up an easy put-away, but he inexplicably played an air shot and the chance was lost.
Mahut summoned the doctor and looked deeply frustrated, but to his credit he played on.
Djokovic secured the break of serve in the following game and the floodgates opened as Mahut had no answer to what was thrown at him.
The Frenchman attempted to shorten the points by coming in at every opportunity, but it was a policy that provided Djokovic with a target and time and again he found the pass with unerring accuracy.
Djokovic showed the mental fortitude that has taken him to No. 1 in the world by tormenting Mahut by dragging him around the court with drop shots. Mahut avoided the embarrassment of being bageled for the second time in the contest, but the match was over two games later.