TennisSection previews the 2023 Australian Open as Novak Djokovic takes on Enzo Couacaud in the Round of 64 on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
Novak Djokovic put his hamstring issue aside and delivered a vintage Djokovic performance that has become synonymous with his dominance at the Australian Open. And the Serbian star will look to repeat the trick when he faces French qualifier Enzo Couacaud. Who will prevail?
Novak Djokovic defeated Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets to kick off his 2023 Australian Open campaign in full-swing mode. After a couple of games when it seemed Djokovic was not quite hitting the ball with purpose due to his limited movement, he raised his level and Carballes Baena couldn’t live with him. The Serbian’s defenses were not breached. He saved all three break points he faced and sailed into the second round at a canter in the end. He will take on French qualifier Enzo Couacaud on Thursday.
Enzo Couacaud, meanwhile, won his maiden main draw match at the Australian Open with his 6-4 7-5 6-0 win over Bolivian clay-court specialist Hugo Dellien. Couacaud had fallen in the qualifying stage in his three previous visits to Melbourne Park. But he changed that narrative this time, blasting through the qualifying draw and upstaging some accomplished Challenger Tour players before his massive win over Dellien in the first round. Now he has the seemingly impossible task of defeating the nine-time champion Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic and Enzo Couacaud have not played each other on the ATP Tour. It goes without saying, Djokovic will be the overwhelming favorite to win his 10th Australian Open title and he will be expected to cruise into the second week without any fuss. Couacaud has a decent game, with solid enough groundstrokes to grind out wins, just not against a player of the caliber of Djokovic.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Novak Djokovic in 3 sets
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