Wimbledon: Djokovic takes off, Garcia flies over
Novak Djokovic very clearly gained strength on Wednesday in the second round of Wimbledon where the Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia dominated the public favorite and winner of the last US Open, Emma Raducanu.
“The wind made the service complicated, but I put in a very high quality performance”, welcomed the Serbian, three-time defending champion, after sweeping the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (79th) 6-1, 6 -4, 6-2 in 2:00.
Not having played a preparation tournament on grass, the world No.3 had given up a set when he entered the running on Monday against the South Korean Soonwoo Kwon (81st).
But he left no opening for Kokkinakis, who never managed to get a break point.
“I’m happy to have raised my level of play so much in two days. I hope to continue on this upward slope,” said Djokovic.
His opponent described the helplessness in which he found himself on Center Court.
“It’s a wall, explained the Australian about his winner. It feels like playing against a wall. He did everything well. He had a high percentage of first serves, he returned very well . He was good on the volley. He just made it uncomfortable for me. And tactically he was on top.”
– Teammates –
In his quest for a seventh title at Wimbledon, which would bring him back to a length of the record of 22 Grand Slam titles held by Rafael Nadal, Djokovic will face his Davis Cup teammate Miomir Kecmanovic (30th) in the next round.
But already, the Djoker has fully endorsed the status of favorite of the tournament.
If Djokovic took off, the Roland-Garros finalist Casper Ruud (6th) fell back to earth, beaten by the Frenchman Ugo Humbert (112th) who seems to find on his favorite surface the tennis which had allowed him to reach 25th in the world in June 2021.
At 24, Humbert has indeed beaten the Norwegian 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 and will face Belgian David Goffin (58th) in the third round to try to find the round of 16 he had already achieved for its first participation in 2019.
Last year, he lost in the first round after fighting a five-set Homeric battle against Australian Nick Kyrgios.
“It’s a great victory, especially at this time when it’s a bit complicated …”, blew Humbert who “does not set a goal” in this tournament but who “wants the story to continue “.
– Garcia’s law –
On the other hand, the story has already stopped for the Briton and favorite of the public Emma Raducanu: the surprise winner of the last US Open suffered the law of the French Caroline Garcia who swept her away 6-3, 6-3.
“It was I who was in an aggressive position, it was I who led the exchanges, on serve and on the return”, explained the Frenchwoman (55th), who regained the dynamism allowing her to impose her game.
“I had things in hand, but as soon as I slowed down the game a little, that I left the exchange to her account a little, she came back directly”, she underlined.
The public, logically all committed to his cause, was not enough to give Raducanu the key to destabilize Garcia who was nevertheless playing for the first time in his career on the Center Court, at 28 years old and for his 9th participation in Wimbledon.
In terms of disappointments, the women’s table lost on Wednesday the world N.3 Anett Kontaveit, beaten 6-4, 6-0 in the 2nd round by the German Jule Niemeier (97th) who is participating in her second Grand Slam tournament.
Disappointment also for the 2017 winner Garbine Muguruza who was blown by the Belgian Greet Minnen (88th) 6-4, 6-0, in a first round match which had to be rescheduled due to rain on Tuesday.
On the other hand, it goes for last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova (7th), in another late first-round match won at the expense of her Czech compatriot Tereza Martincova (61st) 7-6 (7/1), 7- 5.
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