It was another easy afternoon for Novak Djokovic who destroyed an overmatched Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the Wimbledon third round.
“Consistency was one of the keys and focus points of my Grand Slam career going back 10 years,” Djokovic said. “I always aim to play my best in Grand Slams. The quality of tennis that I produce in the Slams is pretty high. That’s what allows me to have the results like this.
“That’s the only explanation I can think of. I don’t think there is anything particular about Wimbledon or any other Slam. It’s just that I try to really prepare myself and aim to peak at the Slams, whatever the surface is. These are the major events of our sport.”
The Serb has now won his last nine matches at Wimbledon and 28 of his last 29 overall in Slams. Up next will be Pol Hubert Hurkacz.
Djokovic’s victim in the final last year, Kevin Anderson, also advanced by Novak’s countryman Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4. Off an elbow injury that kept him off the clay, Anderson hasn’t been broken in 34 service games while whacking 40 aces.
“It’s definitely getting better,” Anderson said of his elbow issue. “I think it’s a process, but having played four sets today and feeling really good and a match a few days ago, that’s a very positive sign for me today.
“I thought I served well throughout, not getting broken. I did a great job on my serve games. Of course I’m really pleased with how my body held up. That’s the most important thing right now for me. Obviously the more I can keep playing matches, the better it will be.”
Argentine Guido Pella is next. He beat Andreas Seppi in five.
It was a mixed day for the giants.
American 21-year-old scored his biggest career win in a Slam stunning Stan Wawrinka in five sets 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6. Wawrinka, who never has made the Wimbledon semifinals, had break chances early in the fourth but failed to convert. The 6-foot-11 Opelka cracked through breaking Wawrinka at 15 to take the match.
Italian little man Thomas Fabbiano made a return trip to the third round eliminating towering 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic in five sets.
Kyle Edmund was dumped by Fernando Verdasco in five sets 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4. Edmund was in control of the match up two sets and 3-0. Moments later he slipped hyper-extending his right leg. Edmund kept playing after treatment, but wasn’t the same as the Spaniard won his third over Edmund.
Russian big men Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov both advanced. Khachanov ended the run of Queen’s champion Feliciano Lopez.
And a pair of Canadians were also winners. Former finalist Milos Raonic return to the third round and 18-year-old won in four over Corentin Moutet to make his first Slam 32.
“He’s improved a lot. I played him last year in the Lyon Challenger, I won 6-2, 6-2. I felt this is a completely different player. I felt like I could have been more aggressive on my side, but I felt like just playing normal,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He was holding the ball well and moving it around and being very aggressive. Any time he had the chance, he came in quite a lot.
“In the end, I was able to maybe serve a little better and find a way to victory. That’s positive.”
It’s a huge day Thursday with Roger Federer returning to face Brit Jay Clarke. Sam Querrey collides Andrey Rublev, Marcos Baghdatis tries to keep his pro career going against Matteo Berrettini. Andy Murray also makes his return to Grand Slam play but in doubles.
In the headline match, Rafael Nadal resumes his rivalry with Nick Kyrgios. The two are tied 3-3 in their head-to-head with the Australian taking their first and last meeting.
“He’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time. I go into that match as an unbelievable underdog. I know if I play the right type of tennis, I can have success against him,” said Kyrgios. “I have to come with the right attitude and be willing to fight. If not, it’s going to be butter for him.”
THURSDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Kei Nishikori v Cameron Norrie
2. Katerina Siniakova v Johanna Konta
3. Nick Kyrgios v Rafael Nadal
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Kristina Mladenovic v Petra Kvitova
2. Jay Clarke v Roger Federer
3. Serena Williams v Kaja Juvan
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