LONDON – The defending champion Novak Djokovic reach to Wimbledon third round for the 16th time on Wednesday as longtime career rival Andy Murray was knocked out of the All England Club for the earliest time.
Top seed Djokovic swept past Australia’s 79th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and will face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic for the final 16th place.
“I am very pleased with my performance. I started very well, solidly from the bottom,” said Djokovic, who wants to join Pete Sampras in becoming a seven-time Wimbledon champion.
“I got him working for every point and working him around the court,” added the 20-time major winner.
Kokkinakis likened Djokovic to a “brick wall” before the match.
“It’s one-way traffic. I had my leg amputated today,” the 26-year-old Australian said after being tortured by Central Court.
Former world number one Murray, champion in 2013 and 2016, knocks down 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 against John Isner on serve, respectively. large in the second round of the conflict.
Murray, currently 52nd in the standings, failed to break serve once against Isner in the 2018 semi-final, who played a total of 36 aces and 82 winners.
“He didn’t give me many chances,” said Murray, whose earliest appearances before that were in the third round in 2005 and 2021.
“My game was in a good place. I feel good on the pitch, just can’t win. “
Isner, 37, was dapper after his first win in nine meetings with the British.
“I am certainly not a better tennis player than Andy Murray. I could have been a little bit better than him today,” said the American.
Isner has also brought his total career goals to 13,724, just four short of the record held by Ivo Karlovic.
Third seed and French Open runner-up Casper Ruud, who was scheduled to face Djokovic in the semifinals, was knocked out by 112th-ranked Ugo Humbert 3-6, 6-2, 7- 5, 6-4.
The ‘crazy’ ending
But Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz went on to meet the six-time champion in the last eight by reaching the third round for the first time.
Alcaraz, just 19 years old, beat Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0), 6-3.
The outstanding Spaniard faced Oscar Otte of Germany for a spot in the round of 16.
Otte needed just 15 minutes to reach the third round as American opponent Christian Harrison retired from injury 3-1 in the second round match.
Alcaraz compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina suffered a controversial opening match at the hands of Jiri Vesely.
In the final match, Davidovich Fokina hit the ball off the field, penalized a point and lost the match.
“I don’t agree with it. That was crazy… what a lousy way to end it,” American tennis great John McEnroe told ESPN.
In the women’s tournament, second seed Anett Kontaveit, ninth seed and former champion Garbine Muguruza as well as 10th seed Emma Raducanu were eliminated.
Kontaveit fell 6-4, 6-0 to Germany’s Julie Niemeier as the Estonian endured another Grand Slam to forget.
Kontaveit has reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament only once in 29 attempts.
Muguruza, the 2017 champion, lost her first game of delay 6-4, 6-0 to Greet Minnen of Belgium.
Raducanu, who bid to become Britain’s first female champion at the All England Club in 45 years, was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by France’s 55th-ranked Caroline Garcia.
“I really enjoyed playing on Center Court, it was my first time and very special,” said Garcia, who shot 25 winners against the British teenager.
There is no such drama for third-seeded Ons Jabeur or fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who went to the last 32 in consecutive sets.
Lesia Tsurenko took the lead in three sets against fellow Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina to reach the third round for the second time.
Tsurenko, ranked 101st, proudly wears a Ukrainian ribbon on his shirt.
“It’s a big court. Two Ukrainian players but a lot of people watched us. We feel incredibly supported,” Tsurenko said after the 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.
“Today on our way from the hotel to the club, we had a driver,” she added. “She brought two people from Ukraine into her home.
“I think it’s great that people help the Ukrainian people so much.”
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