AAP Tennis

Djokovic in cruise control at the Open

By AAP Newswire

Novak Djokovic's Australian Open title defence remains firmly on track following a commanding second-round win over Tatsuma Ito.

Seeking an unprecedented eighth Melbourne Park crown, Djokovic dismissed the Japanese challenger 6-1 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 35 minutes on Wednesday.

The world No.2 didn't face a single break point all match and converted five of his own.

"Credit to him for fighting until the end," Djokovic said.

"The second set was pretty close. Tough conditions out here today, very windy, so it's quite unpredictable where the ball is going to go.

"He was playing pretty aggressive and flat with not many unforced errors in the second set from the back of the court.

"I just managed to find my way, I think, serve well from my side a lot today to get out of trouble."

The Serb will go up against another Japanese player in the third round after Yoshihito Nishioka upset British 30th seed Dan Evans 6-4 6-3 6-4.

"I'm playing all the Japanese players in the field," Djokovic said.

"I'm going to probably prepare myself for the next match very similar to this one today.

"Although Nishioka is a left-handed player still, you know, very quick. Probably one of the quickest players we have on the tour.

"Played him a couple of months ago. I know what his strengths and weaknesses are. Hopefully we can execute the game plan."

Another victory on Friday and Djokovic could play his ATP Cup-winning teammate Dusan Lajovic.

Seeded 24th, Lajovic is up against Argentina's 14th seed Diego Schwartzman in the third round after ousting Australian wildcard Marc Polmans 6-2 6-4 6-3.