At the 2005 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic made his Majors debut. In the first round, the young Serb faced Marat Safin, the fourth seed, and only managed to win three games. A few months later, at Roland Garros, Djokovic improved and defeated Robby Ginepri with a commanding 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 victory.
With pace control on both the serve and the return, Novak won his maiden Major in under 80 minutes. Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of a Major tournament in Paris a year later, and he then started to contend for significant awards in the years to come.
At the Australian Open in 2008, Novak won his first Major championship. He rose to prominence in 2011. Since 2005, Djokovic has consistently finished among the top players at Majors, without missing an opportunity to win at least one match.
Thus, Novak joins Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, and Jimmy Connors as the sixth player with a Major victory in 19 straight seasons! The Serb got off to a good start at the Australian Open by defeating Roberto Carballes Baela at Rod Laver Arena with scores of 6-3, 6-4, and 6-0.
Novak Djokovic has won a match in a Major for 19 successive years.
Since Adelaide, Novak has been struggling with a left leg ailment; today in the second set, he did a little stretching but mostly had things under control. Despite dropping serve once in each of the first two sets, Carballes Baena fought valiantly to advance the world no. 5 into the next round. To put pressure on the other team, Novak served nine aces and successfully blocked all three break attempts. The Serb controlled his strokes well in the third and produced excellent shotmaking with 41 winners and 21 unforced errors.
Djokovic successfully used 47% of the return points to create five breaks. The Serb took a break at love in game six with a forehand down the line winner, ending the first part of the opening set with the Spaniard still in contention.
After that, Djokovic continued to serve brilliantly and made an ace at 5-3 to win the first game in 42 minutes. In the second set, Novak held his ground during his serve games and awaited return opportunities. After a forced error in the seventh game, a nine-time winner seized the opponent’s service and delivered two holds at love to take the set 6-4 and advance toward the finish line.
Carballes Baena ran out of gas in the third set, unable to sustain his level and getting a bagel. With 24 out of 28 points and a strong performance that saw him cross the finish line first, Novak made it a one-man show.
With a volley winner at the net in the first game, Djokovic broke, and he added another at 2-0 for a double break. In the following game, the Serb held at love with a service winner to hold at 5-0 and proceed to the second round.