ATP Olympics: Novak Djokovic downs Jan-Lennard Struff to remain on title course

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is through to the last 16 at the Olympic Games event in Tokyo following a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Jan-Lennard Struff in an hour and 14 minutes. It was their sixth meeting and the first since the last year’s US Open, with Djokovic scoring the sixth triumph, losing only one set against the German so far. Novak fired 14 aces and faced only two break points, getting broken once and taking three consecutive return games to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the next round, where he faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The German stayed in touch in the opening nine games of the encounter, creating a chance on the return but failing to capitalize on it or keep in touch until the tie break. Continuing where he left against Hugo Dellien, the Serb held at love in the opening game with a service winner for a strong start. Struff got his name on the scoreboard when Djokovic missed a forehand in the second game and created a break chance in the next one that could have provided him with an early lead.

Novak Djokovic has won all six matches against Jan-Lennard Struff.

Jan-Lennard earned the opportunity with a powerful return, but Novak remained focused and fended it off with a service winner. The German leveled the score at 2-2 with an unreturned serve, and the Serb responded with an ace a few minutes later to open a 3-2 gap. Both players served well in the next four games, looking good to set a tie break. Instead of that, Struff cracked under pressure while serving to stay in the set at 4-5. Novak broke him at love to take the opener in style and gain momentum ahead of set number two.

Djokovic held at 15 with a forehand down the line winner at the beginning of the second set and earned the second straight break to open a 2-0 gap. Struff pulled the break back in the next game with a forehand down the line winner, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the set. Instead, Novak broke him for the third time in a row to open a 3-1 gap thanks to a beautiful backhand crosscourt bullet that Jan-Lennard failed to catch. Djokovic produced three comfortable holds in the remaining games and moved over the top with an ace in game nine that propelled him into the last 16.

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