Novak Djokovic was in blistering form as he swept past Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets – 6-1 6-4 6-2 – on Wednesday to advance to the third round at Wimbledon.
The Serbian, who is aiming for a fourth straight Wimbledon crown, barely had a sweat on center court as he dominated his Australian opponent throughout, further cementing his position as the favorite for the men’s singles title this year.
The victory made it 23 Wimbledon wins in a row for Djokovic – a run that dates back to the 2017 quarter-finals – as well as his 81st at the tournament.
After being tested in his opener against world No. 81 Kwon Soon-hoo, this game was more of a parade for the defending champion as 26-year-old Kokkinakis simply couldn’t find a way past Djokovic.
The top seed will next face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanović.
“I am very happy with my performance. I started very well, solid from the back of the pitch, made him work for every point and made him work on the pitch,” Djokovic said in his post-match on-pitch interview.
“I’m happy with how I’ve raised the level of tennis in the last two days. Obviously, you just have to think about the next challenge and hope that things will improve as the tournament progresses.
After a year that brought a lot of uncertainty for the Serb, he said he enjoys playing in the bigger events.
“You don’t think about numbers when you start playing tennis,” he said. “99% of children when they pick up a racquet have dreams and a passion for the sport.
“When you put yourself down, you come back to that inner child and remember why you started playing this sport, and everything you achieve is a bonus.”
Elsewhere, British prospect Emma Raducanu lost in the second round to Caroline Garcia.
The defending US Open champion fell in straight sets – 6-3 6-3 – to her French opponent, failing to capitalize on her impressive first-round performance earlier this week.
Raducanu, 19, reached the fourth round of last year’s tournament but has struggled with injuries this season and was even unsure of making her home Grand Slam.
She was unable to match Garcia’s power and precision on Wednesday, with even the crowd of fans unable to push Raducanu to victory.
“Obviously it’s hard to lose a game, but I think Caroline played a great game,” Raducanu told reporters. “She’s a great player and I struggled to find my way through her today. But it’s okay because I didn’t really have expectations of myself and playing on the court again. central was a really positive experience for me.
Garcia, who is now on a seven-fight winning streak, will face China’s Shuai Zhang in the third round.
There have been some impressive performances on center court so far in this tournament, but not much better than France’s Harmony Tan, who knocked out Serena Williams on Tuesday.
Since her momentous win, however, Tan has come under fire from playing partner Tamara Korpatsch for dropping their doubles match.
“Unfortunately my doubles partner H. Tan retired from our doubles today,” Korpatsch wrote on Instagram after Tan pulled out citing fatigue.
“She just texted me this morning. let me wait here [until] one hour before the start of the game. I am very sad, disappointed and also very angry at not being able to play my first Grand Slam in doubles.
“It’s really not fair to me, I didn’t deserve this. She asked me before the tournament if we wanted to play doubles and I said yes. I didn’t ask her, she asked me!
“If you’re broke after 3 o’clock [three-hour] game the day before, you can’t play professional. It’s my opinion.
Tan has yet to comment publicly since publication and will face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round on Thursday.