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Novak Djokovic tempers expectations after his victory in the second round of the French Open | French Open 2024

Novak Djokovic continued to keep his expectations low at the French Open as he continued to improve with an encouraging performance on Thursday. Djokovic reached the third round in Paris with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Spain’s Roberto Carballés Baena.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of the present, because I haven’t had great form before Roland Garros,” Djokovic said. “So I have to keep my expectations a little lower. Of course, the hopes, beliefs and convictions are always there, always high, and I always aim for the highest star, so to speak. But I’m being very aware of the present moment and what I have to do on a daily basis to improve my form as the tournament goes on, hopefully, and then peak at the right time, when it matters most.”

Following recent complaints from David Goffin and Iga Swiatek about unruly fan behavior in Paris, Djokovic had his own run-in with a spectator sitting in the front row of Court Philippe-Chatrier after they shouted before Djokovic hit a ball during a rally in the first set. Djokovic said he supports Goffin’s spirited reaction after facing abuse from fanatical French supporters.

“It’s a very fine line when you cross that line and when you start to be disrespectful towards the player,” Djokovic said. “In those cases, I understand that a player like Goffin reacted the other day, because I have experienced those particular situations quite a few times. So I support a player who stands up to people who disrespect him and boo him. It is not always possible to tolerate it. Of course it is very necessary, because you don’t want to waste unnecessary energy elsewhere. But sometimes you have to face someone who interrupts you. That’s all you can do.”

Alexander Zverev followed up his victory over Rafael Nadal and reached the second round with a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2 victory over Goffin. Zverev’s victory means he remains in the tournament as his public trial for allegedly physically abusing his ex-partner, Brenda Patea, begins on Friday in Berlin. The 27-year-old is not obliged to attend the trial, but he can be summoned by the judge with a week’s notice. Zverev had initially been issued a sanctions order with fines totaling €450,000 (£392,000). Zverev challenged the sanction order, which opened the case to a public trial. Zverev denies the accusations.

Amélie Mauresmo, tournament director of the French Open, said Zverev will be free to play as long as no decision has been made in court. Meanwhile, the ATP is yet to announce the results of the safeguarding review they carried out in 2021 following separate allegations of abuse by another ex-girlfriend of Zverev, Olga Sharypova.

Daniil Medvedev reached the third round after Miomir Kecmanovic retired trailing 6-1, 5-0 and Paula Badosa defeated Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 to set up a meeting with close friend Aryna Sabalenka , who relaxed. to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Moyuka Uchijima. Badosa later offered a difference of opinion on Swiatek’s criticism of the French crowd following her victory over Naomi Osaka on Wednesday.

Paula Badosa will face her friend and world number 2, Aryna Sabalenka, in the third round. Photograph: Mateo Villalba/Getty Images

“I don’t think she can complain, because I played on court eight and nine and you can hear everything,” Badosa said. “I can hear (courts) Suzanne-Lenglen, Philippe-Chatrier, court six, court seven during the points. I think she’s very lucky to be able to play all the time at Philippe-Chatrier and she’s fine with that. But I dont care. Like I said, I played on small courts lately and heard a lot of noise. At that point, I’m so focused on myself and my match that it doesn’t really bother me. Honestly, I like it when the fans cheer and all that. “I think I get excited.”

In positive news for Swiatek, still a tournament favorite, ninth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko fell 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 to Denmark’s Clara Tauson. Ostapenko has a 4-0 record against the Pole and defeated her at the US Open last year. The in-form Danielle Collins was also defeated on Thursday, losing 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-4 to Serbia’s Olga Danilovic.

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