• Thursday, December 08, 2022

Wimbledon

Djokovic into last 32 despite series of falls on Centre Court

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second round match against Kevin Anderson. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)

By: Sattwik Biswal

DEFENDING champion Novak Djokovic survived a series of falls on Centre Court to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday (30) with a straight sets win over Kevin Anderson.

World number one Djokovic, chasing a sixth Wimbledon and record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title, won 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 over the 102nd-ranked South African.

However, he slipped and fell on at least five occasions on Centre Court, the day after Serena Williams suffered a tearful, tournament-ending injury on Tuesday (29) due to similar slips.

Each time, 34-year-old Djokovic dusted himself down to set up a clash against either Italian veteran Andreas Seppi or American qualifier Denis Kudla.

Despite the tumbles, the Serb cruised to victory over the man he defeated in the 2018 final without facing a single break point and committing just six unforced errors.

“I have a nice connection with the crowd,” said Djokovic.

“I also seem to be having a really nice connection with the grass. I don’t recall falling so much in the first two matches at Wimbledon previously.”

Nishioka downs towering Isner

Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka shrugged off a 36-ace barrage, as well as a 38-centimetre height difference, to defeat John Isner on Wednesday (30) to reach the second round for the first time.

Nishioka won 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 against the 2018 semifinalist who also unleashed 87 winners.

Standing at just 5ft 7ins (1.70m) to the 28th-seeded American’s 6ft 10in (2.08m), the 58th-ranked Nishioka triumphed after three previous first round exits.

The 25-year-old will face Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia for a spot in the last 32.

(AFP)

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