Novak Djokovic caused Lucas Pouille to succumb to FEAR in Australian Open | Tennis | Sport

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And former British No 1 Annabel Croft believes Pouille succumbed to fear from the first minute against the world No 1.

Pouille was competing in his first Grand Slam semi-final and entered the match playing some of the best tennis of his career.

But he came up against an opponent in Djokovic who was better in every way.

The Serbian was brutal at times with his ball striking from the back of the court, sending Pouille in a whirlwind.

Pouille struggled on every service game with Djokovic not giving him a chance to breathe.

And Croft believes the Frenchman began to feel “embarrassed” as the game went on.

“It was very disappointing in terms of a match,” Croft said.

“But absolute clinical perfection from Novak Djokovic.

“They were vying a little bit in those early games but once he got that break then you could see that Pouille, there was a sense of fear in his eyes.

“‘My goodness, how am I going to get my points out here’.

“Because the precision, the depth on the ball… almost like watching someone on the toy with somebody on the end of a string.

“He kept Pouille on the back foot running, he was retrieving all the time and there was no way he could impact his game on Novak Djokovic.

“Once you start to feel embarrassed almost out there and that you’re not giving this crowd something to get their teeth stuck into, then you start to play with more and more fear.

“It was one-sided but in terms of enjoyment of watching what a player can do, it was still quite mesmerising what Djokovic did out there.”


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