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Djokovic roars into third round as Wimbledon title defence gathers pace

Last year’s beaten finalist Kevin Anderson also progressed on Wednesday.

Djokovic celebrates his straight-sets win on Centre Court.
Djokovic celebrates his straight-sets win on Centre Court.
Image: Victoria Jones

NOVAK DJOKOVIC EASED into the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Denis Kudla on Centre Court.

Kudla made defending champion Djokovic work in Wednesday’s encounter, though the top seed clicked through the gears impressively to keep his opponent at arm’s length.

After dropping three straight games at 5-0 in the first set, Djokovic, who won seven break points in total, redeemed himself with some delightful shots in the second.

Two breaks of serve put the four-time Wimbledon champion well in control in the final set, and though Kudla showed some late resistance — much to the joy of the crowd — Djokovic wrapped up the win to book a third-round meeting with Hubert Hurkacz.

Djokovic raced into a five-game lead in the first set, though his charge was stopped when Kudla held his serve before breaking.

Kudla followed that up by winning a third successive game, but his opponent swiftly regained his composure to round off the set. 

A cheeky, through-the-legs drop shot from Djokovic almost caught Kudla cold in the second set, though the 26-year-old scampered to his right to win a point that ultimately proved fruitless as the world number one aced his next serve to win the set.

Having broken serve twice to take a 5-2 lead in the third set, Djokovic looked set to cruise home, but Kudla managed to stall the Serbian with some fantastic shots of his own.

Kudla’s efforts finally proved in vain, however, when he clipped a tame return into the net on the fourth match point. 

Meanwhile, last year’s beaten finalist Kevin Anderson also progressed to the third round with a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4 victory over Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

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The 33-year-old fourth-seeded South African will meet Argentina’s Guido Pella, seeded 26, for a place in the last 16.

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