After a couple of clear days with the luxury of seeing the scheduled completed each day not only rain, but thunder and lightning was in store for another disrupted day at Roland Garros. So severe was the storm that on the resumption, the broadcasters’ compound had been flooded and so what little camera action existed was a single fixed overhead, before bit by bit normal service resumed.
A casualty of the chaos that ensued had been the sudden rescheduling of matches across Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen with this match being shunted to Lenglen. The untimely and indeed tearful departure of an injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga put Djokovic squarely back on the Chatrier schedule.
With the light fading, Djokovic was in no mood to waste any time, breaking Bedene in his first service game of the match, before breaking him again to take the first set.
Bedene, who last played Djokovic at the in the first round of the Australian Open last year has improved a lot over the past year, but in fairness it has taken him a while to get his head in the game over the clay court season, largely in part to the seemingly endless wrangling with the ITF over his appeal to be able to play for Great Britain.
He has settled down a little in recent weeks, and achieved his best result in a Grand Slam in his young career. He made Djokovic work for the win, and at times looked as though he could possible make himself quite a nuisance to the World No. 1 who had one eye on the gleaming clock as the gloom descended.
Djokovic ripped through the set a little shy of 40 minutes and despite Bedene breaking back in the second to reclaim at least one of the breaks against him, not to mention saving four set points, Djokovic continued to dominate.
Struggling with his contact lenses at one stage, Bedene refused to let his head drop, again reclaiming a break from Djokovic, before the Serbian went on to break him a further two times in the third set to close out a straight sets victory.
Amidst talk that the pressure of trying to win this slam is making Djokovic stressed, he looked to be fairly in control, and certainly a lot less grumpy than he has seemed to be at times. With the withdrawals of Rafael Nadal due to a wrist injury yesterday, and then today Tsonga, the draw has opened up nicely for the Serbian.
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