|French Open 2014|
|Novak Djokovic  (SRB)||vs||Jeremy Chardy (FRA)|
ScheduleWednesday, 28 May 2014 at 12:00 GMT / 13:00 UK / 17:30 IST
VenueCourt Philippe Chatrier, Roland Garros
There's always the home-town advantage for local French players at Roland Garros. But for all the patriotic support, it's hard to ignore the class of elite players when they're up against Gallic pride. Case in point: Serbia's Novak Djokovic versus Jeremy Chardy, who'll be meeting each other in the second round.
Both progressed through to the second stage with relative ease; Chardy easing out to a three set victory 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 over Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver, while Djokovic dismantled Portugal's Joao Sousa's game 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. This match-up is at the bottom end of the draw, thanks to Djokovic's seeding at #2.
Novak has been the typical model of consistency through 2014. He's won some of the biggest tournaments during the first half of the year: Indian Wells (def Federer), plus Miami and Rome, where he defeated Nadal on both occasions. Of his defeats, Roger Federer got him twice at Dubai and Monte Carlo, while Stan Wawrinka ousted him in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. It's clear though that Novak is very much in form, and for mine, he'll be one of the form-horses leading into the second week, unless someone trips him up. Personally, I can't see that happening.
Chardy's ranking is currently one behind Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at #42. We saw what happened yesterday with Stan Wawrinka coming undone against the Spaniard. So, is there any chance that Chardy could pull a French rabbit out of the hat against Djokovic in much the same way? Well, there's always a chance, but the betting man will always go for the percentages, and based on the stats, it won't be in Chardy's favour.
So what has Jeremy Chardy done so far in 2014? Well, he started off the year reasonably well, losing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals at the Brisbane International. He made it to the round of 32 at the Australian Open losing to 3rd ranked David Ferrer in three. He made two quarter-finals in South America, but his biggest scalp was in the 1000 event at Rome where he exacted revenge on Roger Federer winning in three sets in the second round. That was his only victory over a top 10 player so far this year. He has since lost to David Ferrer three times and Canadian Milos Raonic twice, and could possibly be 0-2 for the year against Djokovic as well.
In the head-to-head match ups, the duo have met eight times; Djokovic has won all of them, their last meeting was earlier this year at the 1000 event at Miami where Novak prevailed 6-4, 6-3. They've met on clay just once, back in 2010 at the 1000 Rome event where Novak cleaned up 6-1, 6-1. The fact that Chardy has never beaten his Serbian opponent, nor gone beyond the fourth round at Roland Garros probably tells a graphic picture which should be confirmed sometime on Wednesday, once all the first round matches are complete, and the rain holds off.
The Djoker in three.