Novak Djokovic cut his unforced error count to the bone on Wednesday, limiting them to a mere six on his way to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 knockout of Kevin Anderson in Wednesday’s Wimbledon second round.

The Serb top seed, winner of the last two editions at the All England Club, was ruthless as he ran his record of the former Top 5 South African to 10-2. 

It was the third win here for Djokovic over Anderson, a run which also included the 2018 final.

“I’m in the third round but we are only two matches into the tournament,” Djokovic said. “There is still a long way to go.  

“Hopefully I can go very deep, that’s the goal.But I’m very pleased with the way I’ve been playing so far.”

Djokovic had to work to stay balanced on the notoriously slick Centre Court grass which has claimed Serena Williams as an injury victim.

The ATP No. 1 lost his footing a few times but stayed in control throughout the match which put him into the Wimbledon third round for a 12th consecutive edition.

“I definitely had a very close contact with the grass – a few falls, maybe more than I would like.

“I don’t think it’s about the courts.  Obviously it was raining for a few days.  Maybe first match under the roof, the humidity affects the surface of the grass, and it becomes a bit more slippery.

“I’m coming from several months of clay courts, a surface completely different in terms of movement and bounce and everything.

“Hopefully as the tournament progresses I’ll also fall less,even though I don’t mind falling more if the result is winning a match.” 

Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini, who won the Queen’s title, reached the second round on the back of 20 aces in his 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 defeat of Guido Pella, who played a quarter-final here at the last edition in 2019.

“I said to myself, that I’ve played a lot of matches, I won most of them, especially recently,and this is something that it’s important for a player,” the Italian said.

“Sometimes you win also with the confidence that you feel in yourself. Today, in the third set, I used that as a weapon to overtake him.

“I know now when I step on the court people in general expect me to win – I expect myself to win.”

A pair of Japanese moved into the second round, with 2014 US Open finalist Kei NIshikori winning his 100th match at a Grand Slam with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Australian Alexei Popyrin.

Yoshihito Nishioka didn’t let a 38-cm height disadvantage with tree-topping John Isner hold him back as the little man toppled the tennis giant 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4.

Isner, who finished with 36 aces took a heavy fall on the click grass, crawling a few metres on his good knee and massaged his injured one while lying down before managing to play on.

The win was the first for Nishioka on his fourth main draw appearance here..

Nishikori said he was pleased to advance in three sets over Popyrin..

“Today was pretty solid.  I had a good start breaking him in the first game of the match: that usually doesn’t happen for me.

“I served well but I think returning was the key. I’m really happyway I played today.”

Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov got a walkover win against Pablo Andujar to advance; former finalist Marin Cilic beat Italy’s Salvatore Caruso 7-6 7-6 6-1.

In other first-round starts during a rainy week, French 13th seed Gael Monfils earned his first season victory on grass after two losses, beating Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.

The 16th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime copied compatriot Shapovalov as a winner, beating Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Grigor Dimitrov won a battle of experienced campaigners over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.


Leave a Reply