Novak's forehand is firing
Following his straight-sets thrashing at the hands of the world No.1 in the previous round, unheralded Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan revealed what it was like to face someone of the Serb’s calibre for the first time.
He admitted studying footage of Djokovic did not do justice to the depth and pace of shot coming at him. “Seriously I felt like he was a rocket every time he was hitting his forehand,” Galan said.
Khachanov owns a victory over the world No.1 in the French capital – albeit in the Paris Masters final, on a faster indoor court, in a best-of-three-set contest – but this was a markedly more important showdown and their first on clay.
While he managed to register twice the number of games as each of Djokovic’s opening three victims, like Galan, he could do little to stem the flow of forehand rockets hurtling past. Djokovic finished with 23 forehand winners to the Russian’s 11.