Djokovic breezes into third round
Originally published on 06/07/17 00:00
The former world No.1 improved as the match progressed and he continues to build on his productive week in Eastbourne. His lowly-ranked opponent battled gamely but he did not possess the weaponry required to unsettle or challenge his illustrious opponent.
Djokovic has extended his winning run to six matches and he enjoyed his rare outing on the roofless No.1 Court. “From the very beginning I managed to impose my own rhythm and I played the game I intended to play,” explained the three-time winner.
“I feel better as the days go by at Wimbledon and I have been in these situations many times before. I will try to use my experience – about knowing what to do on a daily basis – to get myself in the right shape and the right state of mind.”
Djokovic will take on Ernests Gulbis in the round of 32. The Latvian bludgeoned his way past Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-4 7-6(3) to claim a significant victory.
Gulbis, who has struggled with injuries in the last few seasons, had not won a single match at main tour level this year prior to his arrival at the All England Club. He is a big occasion player, though, and he showed just why he was once ranked inside the top 20.
The 28-year-old, currently the world No.589, is the lowest ranked male since Richard Krajicek to reach the third round of Wimbledon. “It's very satisfying,” said Gulbis. “I played well in my first-round match, and in this match I played really, really great tennis. I served well, I returned well. Del Potro is one of the best players and he is really tough to beat.”
Roger Federer enjoyed a 7-6(0) 6-3 6-2 victory Dusan Lajovic as he set up a third round showdown with Mischa Zverev, who defeated Mikhail Kukushkin in five sets.
The Swiss dropped serve in the second game of the opener but he responded immediately and took the first set in a one-sided tiebreak. It was not a vintage display from the seven-time champion, but he remains the player to beat in the men’s draw.
“I struggled early on,” admitted Federer. “I couldn’t get rid of the nerves and I struggled to find my rhythm. I just struggled throughout the first set and I was happy to get rid of those nerves and play more free tennis. By the end, I played very good.”
Gael Monfils ended Kyle Edmund’s Wimbledon hopes in the first match of the day on Centre Court. The Frenchman defeated the plucky Brit 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4 to make into the round of 32.
It was a closer match than the scoreline suggests, but Monfils’ extra quality showed at the business end of each set. “I think I played a solid match today,” remarked the No.15 seed. “The first set was a real battle but I’m very happy to get through in straights.
“I think I’m just playing a bit better on grass, I keep trying to get better but I’m not a big fan [of the surface].”
Grigor Dimitrov turned on the style as he thumped Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-2 6-1. It was an impressive display from the Bulgarian, who hit just one unforced-error in the first two sets, and he completed the one-sided contest with an eye-catching diving volley.
The former semi-finalist, who will play will play Dudi Sela on Saturday, said afterwards: “It was a very comfortable match. I knew I was playing a dangerous opponent but I felt I just played good tennis and was really focused.”
It was a good day for the seeds as Tomas Berdych, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic all progressed into the third round. Elsewhere on the grounds, David Ferrer was required to play just three games before his opponent, Steve Darcis, retired with an injury and Mischa Zverev outlasted Mikhail Kukushkin.