Novak Djokovic was in blistering form as he swept aside Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets – 6-1 6-4 6-2 – on Wednesday to progress into the third round at Wimbledon.
The Serb, aiming for a fourth straight Wimbledon crown, barely had to break a sweat on Centre Court as he dominated his Australian opponent throughout, further cementing his position as favorite for the men’s singles title this year.
The victory made it 23 wins in a row at Wimbledon for Djokovic – a run that stretches back to the 2017 quarterfinals – as well as his 81st at the tournament.
Having been tested in his opening match against world No. 81 Kwon Soon-hoo, this match was more of a parade for the defending champion as Kokkinakis, 26, simply couldn’t find a way past Djokovic.
The top seed will next face fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanović.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I started very well, solid from the back of the court, made him work for every point and worked him around the court,” Djokovic said in his post-match interview on court.
“I am pleased with the way I’ve raised the level of tennis in the past two days. Obviously, just thinking about the next challenge and hope things will get better as the tournament goes on.”
After a year that brought plenty of uncertainty for the Serb, he said he was enjoying playing at the biggest events.
“You don’t think about numbers when you start playing tennis,” he said. “99% of children when they grab a racket have dreams and passion for the sport.
“When you get down on yourself, you are going back to that inner child and remembering why you start to play the sport, and anything you achieve is a bonus.”
Elsewhere, British hope Emma Raducanu lost in the second round to Caroline Garcia.
The reigning US Open champion fell in straights sets – 6-3 6-3 – to her French opponent having failed to build on her impressive performance in the opening round earlier this week.
Raducanu, 19, reached the fourth round of last year’s tournament but has struggled with injuries this season and was a doubt to even appear at her home grand slam.
She was unable to match Garcia’s power and precision on Wednesday, with not even the partizan crowd able to spur Raducanu to victory.
“Obviously it’s tough to lose any match, but I think that Caroline played a great match,” Raducanu told reporters. “She is a great player and I struggled to find a way through her today. But it’s okay because coming into this I didn’t really have many expectations on myself and playing on Centre Court again was a really positive experience for me.”
Garcia, who is now on a run of seven consecutive victories, will play China’s Shuai Zhang in the third round.
Doubles player’s disharmony with Tan
There have been some impressive performances on Centre Court so far this tournament but not many better than that of France’s Harmony Tan, who knocked out Serena Williams on Tuesday.
Since her memorable victory, however, Tan has been slammed by her playing partner Tamara Korpatsch for dropping out of their doubles’ match.
“Unfortunately my doubles partner H. Tan retired from our doubles today,” Korpatsch wrote on Instagram after Tan pulled out reportedly citing fatigue.
“She just texted me this morning. Let me wait here [until] one hour before the match start. I’m very sad, disappointed and also very angry that I can’t play my first doubles Grand Slam.
“It’s really not fair for me, I didn’t deserve that. She asked me before the tournament if we wanna play doubles and I said yes. I didn’t ask her, she asked me!
“If you’re broken after a 3h [three-hour] match the day before, you can’t play professional. That’s my opinion.”
Tan has yet to comment publicly since the post and will face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round on Thursday