Novak Djokovic looked the part of the favorite at Wimbledon, breezing past Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in a rematch of their 2018 final. The Serb committed a total of six unforced errors and never faced a break point in the destruction.
Djokovic is now 16-0 in Slams this year and has won his last 16 at Wimbledon where he has won the last two years.
“Obviously I’m in a high level of confidence,” Djokovic said. “But I was nervous coming into this match because I was playing a very good player, experienced player, whom I faced in the final three years ago.
“He’s a big server. He’s very dangerous opponent, especially in the early rounds.”
Djokovic now faces American qualifier Denis Kudla on Friday.
Andy Murray was on again in the evening and again the Scot was in a battle, this time with qualifier Oscar Otte. Murray got the opener and led with a break in the second but fell off his game as the powerful German got his serve going. A slip and fall created a moment of agony, but he continued.
With the roof shut and having recharged during the break, Murray stormed back to win in five sets 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 3 hours, 51 minutes.
‘I enjoyed the end. The middle part not so much,” Murray said to the crowd. “What an atmosphere to play in at the end. The whole crowd was amazing but there were a few guys in there getting me fired up. I needed everyone’s help tonight.”
Murray, who has played nine sets of tennis, will now get Denis Shapovalov Friday evening. The Canadian will be well-rested after not hitting a ball today after Pablo Andujar withdrew due to a rib injury.
“I’m obviously tired and I fell over a couple of times,” said Murray on court. “Pretty slick courts but considering everything I feel alright. Hip feels good. I get a rest day tomorrow and hopefully come out on Friday and play in another atmosphere like this and perform well.”
Murray’s mates Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie also won.
Nick Kyrgios proved yet again there’s little need to practice or even play matches. In his first match since Australia, the entertaining Australia finished off Ugo Humbert for the second time in as many events in five sets 9-7 in the fifth.
“It wasn’t hard to get off the couch in Canberra, as Wimbledon is one of my favorite events,” said Kyrgios. “It was a long day yesterday with the rain and I ate so much food, thinking the match may be cancelled. I got home late last night. It’s very easy to get up for a match with a full crowd.”
Matteo Berrettini, Diego Schwartzman, Fabio Fognini, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov also advanced.
American men kept charging ahead. Frances Tiafoe backed up his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas with another straight set victory over Vasek Pospisil. Sebastian Korda kept winning beating qualifier Antoine Hoang and Sam Querrey, Marcos Giron, Kudla and Taylor Fritz also won. American big man John Isner, though, fell in five sets to the 5-foot-6 Yoshihito Nishioka in five sets.
On Friday, the second round concludes with Roger Federer taking on Richard Gasquet. Daniil Medvedev meets 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev and Berrettini are also on court.
THURSDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 1:30PM
1. Ashleigh Barty v Anna Blinkova
2. Elena Vesnina v Cori Gauff
3. Roger Federer v Richard Gasquet
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Alex Bolt v Cameron Norrie
2. Carlos Alcaraz v Daniil Medvedev
3. Victoria Azarenka v Sorana Cirstea
NO.2 COURT – 11:00AM
1. Tennys Sandgren v Alexander Zverev
2. Elina Svitolina v Magda Linette
3. Angelique Kerber v Sara Sorribes Tormo
4. Felix Auger-Aliassime v Mikael Ymer
NO.3 COURT – 11:00AM
1. Andrea Petkovic v Barbora Krejcikova
2. Matteo Berrettini v Botic Van De Zandschulp
3. Daria Kasatkina v Jelena Ostapenko
4. Gianluca Mager v Nick Kyrgios
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