Paris: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic easily beat Argentina's Guido Pella 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 at the French Open on Thursday to set up a third-round match against rising star Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Djokovic has won every Grand Slam title except the French Open and has made this year's tournament his priority. The Serb lost last year's rain-interrupted final at Roland Garros to Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
The match on centre court was delayed and interrupted by afternoon rain. "It's like deja vu from two days ago, you know, coming in and out and warming up five times, but it is the way it is," Djokovic said. "I'm just glad that I finished the match today."
It had little effect on Djokovic, though, as he swept aside the 83rd-ranked Pella in 1 hour, 26 minutes. He had 30 winners, broke Pella's serve six times and did not face a single break point on his serve, clinching victory on his third match point when Pella double-faulted.
The 26th-seeded Dimitrov earlier beat Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Earlier this month, Dimitrov stunned Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid Open, beating him 7-6 (6), 6-7 (8), 6-3 for the biggest win of his career. He also took a set off Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters last month.
"I think he got more confident as he was getting big wins in last few months, and so he's a tough player now to beat now," Djokovic said. "Even though maybe his style of the game could be better on the hard court or faster surfaces, he's showing that he can play equally well on clay. He pushed Nadal to a tough three sets in Monaco. He beat me in Madrid."
But Djokovic is confident he can handle Dimitrov in a five-set match.
"It's going to be very physical," he said. "All the hard work that I put into in preparations for this tournament hopefully will play into my advantage and will pay off on the court."