With the way tennis heavyweights Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro traded rounds on Friday, there was the expectation they'd continue to do so on Saturday in the resumption of their third-round match at the French Open. Instead, it was a decisive knockout.
Djokovic used early breaks in both of Saturday's sets to take the much-anticipated matchup in four sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. It was the 40th straight victory for Djokovic to open the season, putting him one behind John McEnroe's record. He'll have a chance to tie the mark on Sunday against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Saturday's match against the former Grand Slam champ del Potro turned in an instant. The Argentine had two break points at 2-2 in the third set and had meaty second serves to return on both of those chances. He would lose four straight points and the game. Djokovic broke del Potro in the next game and then held his serve at love. Del Potro nearly held a break advantage. Almost instantly, it was a 5-2 deficit. There was little doubt as to what the result would be after that.
All the thought that del Potro would have an advantage because of the extra night of rest or that Djokovic would be frustrated by his unfortunate draw and the inept scheduling were for naught. In retrospect, of course neither of those things mattered. Djokovic is playing the best tennis in the world. A few curveballs weren't going to change that.