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Djokovic wins 70th match at Roland Garros, tying second-most all-time
The Serb cruised past Ricardas Berankis on Thursday to tie Roger Federer for second-most career wins for a man in French Open history.
Published Oct 01, 2020
Novak Djokovic cruised past Ricardas Berankis on Thursday, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, for his 70th career win at Roland Garros, tying Roger Federer for second-most wins for a man in the tournament's history.
The record belongs to, of course, Rafael Nadal:
Most career wins in French Open history, men, all-time
95: Rafael Nadal (95-2)
70: Roger Federer (70-17)
70: Novak Djokovic (70-14)
58: Guillermo Vilas (58-17)
53: Ivan Lendl (53-12)
53: Jaroslav Drobny (53-14)
Djokovic had already passed 70 at the other three Grand Slams, tallying 75 at the Australian Open, 72 at Wimbledon and 75 at the US Open. He now has an overall career record of 292-44 at majors.
"Well, Grand Slams are obviously the biggest tournaments in our sport. Historically, they count the most. So of course winning that many matches on each Slam is a great achievement, and of course it makes me proud, makes me happy," Djokovic said afterwards. "I always aim to play my best tennis in Grand Slams. I think Federer, Nadal, the biggest players in the last 10, 15 years, aim to always play their best in Slams. Playing a Grand Slam is the only tournament where we basically play best-of-five, and over the two weeks it takes a lot of energy and effort to invest into winning a Grand Slam.
"Obviously those records are great. They don't determine my day in terms of how I feel on the court—if I broke the record for most matches won at a Slam or not—but it's nice to hear. It's a confirmation for me that I've been able to play my best tennis throughout my career on the biggest tournaments."
Djokovic was in control against Berankis from the start, breaking the Lithuanian in the second game of the match and never looking back, eventually breaking him six times—and fighting off both of the break points he himself faced—to advance in straight sets after just an hour and 23 minutes.
He had also dropped only five games in his 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 first-round win over Sweden's Mikael Ymer.
Awaiting the No. 1-seeded Djokovic in the third round will be Colombian lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan, who dispatched American Tennys Sandgren on Court 11 earlier on in the day, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
The No. 153-ranked Galan had never won a main-draw match at a major until this week.
"I don't know much about him, to be honest," Djokovic admitted. "I have never seen him play, so I'll have to obviously look at his matches, the videos, and try to prepare myself with my team.
"I know he played the qualifications here, so he's got quite a lot of matches in these conditions, which definitely helps. It's going to be the first time that we get to face each other. He doesn't have much to lose. We will most likely play on Chatrier or Suzanne Lenglen, which probably will be his first match on the big courts. It's always dangerous facing opponents you've never faced before. On the big stadium they can really relax and play the best tennis of their lives, or it can go a different way.
"I have to be alert and prepare myself well."