The second round of the Australian Open was completely crazy! So many twists and turns, ups and downs in the game… And nothing had suggested that it would be like this in the first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne. Novak comfortably won the first set. He played excellently, while Popirin was on an average level, and when that happens, there is no doubt about who wins. Routine set, 6:3. We expected the same scene to continue in the match, but we witnessed a complete turnaround. Djokovic faltered, and the Australian, buoyed by immense support from the crowd, started playing the tennis of his career… He won the second set and looked extremely powerful in those moments. He continued to “dominate” in the third set, reaching four set points, but couldn’t convert any of them! He didn’t take advantage of any opportunity to win the third set and faced the consequences. Who knows what would have happened if the Australian had taken a 2-1 lead in sets. In the fourth set, he quickly broke Novak’s serve and smoothly closed the match. On top of all this, Novak had to deal with unruly fans, who often didn’t behave in the spirit of fair play. Djokovic even invited some fans to come on the court and say to his face what they were shouting. In the third round, Novak’s opponent will be Tomas Martin Echeveri. We hope for much better performance than in the first two rounds.
Novak had three match points in this game. Djokovic is serving for the game. Popirin threatened, even had a 30:15 lead, but from that moment, Novak won three straight points. They dominate with their serves… A service game won without losing a point. Novak claims the first game on his serve with no points lost. The Australian had four set points, but Djokovic was at his top level in those moments. Experience made the difference in the tiebreak, and finally Popirin started making some mistakes… He played sensational tennis in crucial moments. He smoothly wins his service game. For now… We witnessed drama in this game, it was 30:30, but excellent serves and good smashes brought a crucial game to the home player. Exactly two hours of tennis in Melbourne. He is getting better and better. Fantastic serving, with only one point lost, he takes another game. And there were some troubles… Popirin took a 30:15 lead, luckily, he didn’t manage to break again. MEDICAL TIMEOUT. The match continues. Aleksej received assistance from the doctor and will continue the match. The Australian takes a medical timeout due to a left calf injury. We’ll see how Popirin will look in the rest of the match… The Australian is maintaining an extremely high level of play. A game won by Novak without losing a point. We hope this is a return to his usual level of play. There aren’t as many “killer” serves as in the first set, and the Australian is completely equal in the rallies. Djokovic needs to play much better, it’s unbelievable how much he has dropped in form after the first set… A fantastic lob brought Alexey the decisive point in this part of the game. The stadium erupted with excitement, as did Popirin’s celebration… But… A break is needed in one of the next two serve games of the opponent. He comfortably wins another service game. A huge drop in Djokovic’s game in the second set. After losing a game, Novak yelled at his box. He won the second service game without any problems. This was his easiest won service game so far. The Serbian ace is playing fantastic tennis. If he continues like this, it will be an express victory. In the previous two service games of the opponent, Novak put pressure on, and now he has materialized it. Alexey is miles away from having a chance to break in this stage of the match. This game, without losing a point, is won by Novak. So far, in three service games of Djokovic, Popirin has only won 2 points. Alexey has great support in this match. He lost one point, but with excellent serves, he comfortably won the game. [Novak Djokovic](/data/images/2024/01/17/10/3791790_profimedia0837975705_ff.jpg?ver=1705485058) will serve first. They previously met in Tokyo when Novak won in straight sets (6:4, 6:2). Novak is a huge favorite for this match, and anything other than a victory for Djokovic against the 43rd-ranked player in the world would be a real sensation.