By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 16, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Novak Djokovic barely raised a sweat in defeating young American Ryan Harrison 6-1 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 31 minutes on Rod Laver Arena in the day three night session at the Australian Open on Wednesday night.
Djokovic outclassed his opponent in every way tonight, putting together an almost perfect performance to keep his title defence hopes alive.
“This was definitely a better performance than the first round. You know, I managed to play in a very high level already in the second round of a Grand Slam, which is very encouraging for next challenge.”
Harrison was given a lesson in tennis by a player at a completely different level to his own and has seen just how far he has to go. After the match he spoke about his experience against the world number one.
“Yeah, he played really well. Kind of getting broke in that first service game, giving a guy that’s that good a little bit of a lead and letting him front run is just not the ideal way to start. I guess your first service game you want to at least stay in it. From then on out, he just had his foot on the gas pedal.”
“It was tough because his balls were landing so hard and deep. Whenever your game plan is to try and take control of a guy and you’re not getting balls to hit, you know, if I try to lace balls from six, eight feet behind the baseline I just look stupid and crazy.”
“So it’s just something where I know that level now. I’ve played him three times now. I played some of the best guys in the world. I’m not there yet. I know how to get there. I just got to keep working at it.”
Djokovic says so long as Harrison remains committed and confident in achieving his ambitions he will do the hard work to get there.
“Well, we all know that the hard work and dedication pays off in the end. So I’m sure, knowing him for last two years, that he’s gonna put on these hours on the court and off the court being very professional, committed.”
“So that’s why I think they rate him as one of the up and coming rising stars from the United States. They put a lot of hopes into him.”
“But it’s a process. And tennis has changed. It’s much more demanding nowadays with I guess the competition that is around the tour and many quality players.”
“It’s more difficult to make that breakthrough for a youngster. He needs patience and he needs to believe in himself and wait for a chance.”
Djokovic plays Radek Stepanek in the third round on Friday who earlier had an easy straight sets win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-2 6-4.