Novak Djokovic played his first Major match on Rod Laver Arena against Marat Safin in 2005. The young Serb qualified for the Australian Open that year and repeated that a few months later in Paris. Novak made a perfect Roland Garros debut, toppling Robby Ginepri 6- 0, 6-0, 6-3 in under 80 minutes after taking the opening 14 games!
The Serb did not lose too much energy in that one, but he was through all kinds of troubles in the second round versus the last year’s finalist Guillermo Coria. Djokovic retired against the Argentine while trailing 4-6, 6-3, 3-2 after an hour and 54 minutes.
Novak gave his best to challenge world no. 9, erasing the deficit in the opener and taking it for an early boost. Still, he struggled with cramps and breathing issues already from the first set and retired after the third set’s fifth game.
Djokovic played a loose forehand in the encounter’s first game to experience a break and push Coria in front.
Novak Djokovic retired against Guillermo Coria at the 2005 Roland Garros.
Guillermo held at love in game two after Novak’s loose drop shot and forged a 3-0 advantage with another break following the youngster’s forehand mistake.
Starting all over, Djokovic brought his best shots to erase the deficit and move back to the positive side. The Serb placed a volley winner in game seven to rattle off four straight games and build the advantage. He spoke to the doctors during the break but decided to continue.
Guillermo closed the eighth game with a service winner before Novak broke him two games later for 6-4. Djokovic fell 3-1 down in the second set and struggled with cramps in the fifth game. Coria broke him with a lob winner to open a 4-1 gap before losing serve in the next one thanks to Djokovic’s forehand winner at the net.
The youngster wasted a game point at 2-4 and dropped serve after a loose forehand to fall further behind. The Argentine closed the set with a service winner in game eight for a massive boost against the rival who was far from his best.
Novak held at the beginning of the third set with a backhand crosscourt winner, and Guillermo took the next game at 15. The Serb fired a service winner in game three to remain on the positive side, giving his best despite apparent issues. Coria clinched a break in game five, and Djokovic decided to retire and avoid further health problems.