By Ros Satar, in Madrid
MADRID, SPAIN – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic sailed into the third round, but French Open champion Stan Wawrinka was edged out of two tight sets by Nick Kyrgios.
Novak Djokovic  def. Borna Coric 6-2 6-4
The ATP ‘Next Generation’ still have a thing or two to learn about handling the best in the game, when Coric came up against the man who complimented him as recognising a lot of himself in him.
Initial trades from the baseline looked eerily familiar in style but the substance was in more abundance at the Serbian end of the court, as Djokovic made good on his third chance to break Coric in the first set, putting the boot in at the end to break him to love for the set.
The second set was a more competitive affair with Coric having the temerity to bring up a break point on Djokovic’s serve, but he couldn’t convert. The World No., 1 out paid to such impudence with a break at the end of the set once more.
Djokovic had nothing but praise for Coric, saying: “Overall was a satisfying performance against a young player that I never played against, against somebody that was in form. He’s going to come out on the court not really having much to lose. But we know each other well. We practice many times. I do see myself in him a little bit. We play similar styles of the game. He’s a great fighter. For his age, quite mature and mentally tough.
“[He] has really impressive level of maturity for his age. He has a nice balance between confident approach and self-belief on the court and not being really intimidated by anyone’s presence. And of course humbleness, as we could see in his statement.”
Although Djokovic’s comment last year in recognising a lot of himself in the youngster drew some criticism in some quarters, Djokovic offered a little insight as to why he felt a stronger bond towards the Next Generation star.
He said: “I think that’s the key for the long-term success for him. I really do see potential in him. I can identify myself with him because we have very similar backgrounds coming from Croatia and Serbia. We have the same mentality, speak same language, more or less same trajectory or path to professional tennis as I did.
“He’s one of the players that we can see a lot from in the future. Whether or not that’s going to be a reality depends solely on him and people around him. I’ll be here to help. I’ll be glad to help him become better.”
Nick Kyrgios def. Stan Wawrinka  7-6(7) 7-6(2)
There was less good news for Stan Wawrinka, who was pushed to two tie-break sets before falling to Nick Kyrgios in a highly anticipated match (probably for all the wrong reasons).
It was a tight affair, but when it counted, the Aussie produced the goods when it mattered, bouncing the French Open champion out in his opener.
Wawrinka surmised: “I think the level was good, I had some chance in the first set. He was serving big in the big moments, just played better in few important moments. His serve was tough to read and 76 76 a few points can make the difference and he was just a little bit better on those points.”
Kyrgios said: “I thought we both served extremely well. We both really had early looks early on, but then you know I didn’t think one of us had any chance on each other’s serves. I thought the level was really high today. I thought we played somMadison Keyse really good tennis, you know, it was a lot of fun out there as well.”
Alas there will be no Kyrgios/Gael Monfils showdown – the prospect for one of the most entertaining match of the tournament as Monfils eventually lost to Pablo Cuevas. The match was suspended as the lights on the Arantxa Sanchez court. As Patricia Maria Tig and were booted off court to allow the men to finish, leaving Juan Martin Del Potro and Jack Sock to be scheduled on Court 6.
Play will continue at the Mutua Madrid Open at 12pm (11am BST).
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