Giving a zero takes work, it requires top-notch performance on serve and return. A 6-0 set boosts a player and gives him the confidence to continue at the same pace or close the deal in style. The zero is especially welcome in the Majors, when you have to save energy and endure demanding best-of-five duels.
Five players top the list of zeros in Majors when we talk about the Open era. Andre Agassi tops the list with 50, followed by Roger Federer, four behind him. Rafael Nadal was 44 years old before the Australian Open and had company in Melbourne after Novak Djokovic’s two 6-0 wins.
Two big rivals are now even, and Novak should have more chances to challenge Federer and Agassi in the years to come. Novak’s 16th and 17th shutouts at the Australian Open came against Roberto Carballes Baena and Enzo Couacaud in the first two rounds.
Djokovic didn’t play at his best due to a hamstring injury, but he still did enough to rack up two perfect sets. Novak kicked off his 18th Australian Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over Carballes Baena. The Serb fired 41 winners and 21 unforced errors, hit a pair of breaks in the first two sets and saved his best for the third.
Carballes Baena had nothing left in the tank in the third set, he could not keep up with him and he lived a donut. Novak made the third set a one-man affair, taking 24 of 28 points and crossing the finish line. Djokovic achieved his seventeenth victory at the Australian Open by beating Enzo Couacaud 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 and 6-0, in the previous phase.
McEnroe defends Djokovic
John McEnroe claimed that Novak Djokovic will gradually gain «more respect» over time. «In my opinion, he deserves more respect. I feel like as time goes on, he’s going to get more and more respect,» McEnroe said.
«Obviously, we’re talking about two of the most supremely talented class acts the game has ever seen in Roger [Federer] and rafa [Nadal]. for me roger [Federer] He is the most beautiful player I have ever seen play and Rafa’s [Nadal] the intensity is so great, but Novak [Djokovic] He’s done a great job of getting into the mix and possibly surpassing both of them at some point,» McEnroe said.
«His style of play is so technically solid that it is sometimes taken for granted. His toughness and mental toughness are also impressive. He is four or five years younger than Roger.» [Federer] and he already had that cloak when novak [Djokovic] burst onto the scene. It’s hard at that point to shake it off,» she added.