Novak Djokovic continued his red-hot form with a straight-sets victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the second round at Wimbledon.
The Serbian second seed did not take the match without a fight as Anderson showed determination but was too good for the world number 36 in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win.
Despite Anderson’s efforts, Djokovic, who has only lost one match all year, outclassed his opponent at both the baseline and the net.
“I served well, I played well, I returned really well. That was the key,” said Djokovic.
“Even though I may be hard on myself sometimes I’m satisfied with my performance.”
Twice a semi-finalist here, if Djokovic reaches the Wimbledon final or if Spain’s Rafael Nadal does not retain the title, the Serb is guaranteed to become the world number one.
Serena struggles, Ivanovic canters
Defending champion Serena Williams needed another three-setter to reach the third round while Ana Ivanovic barely broke sweat in her last-64 encounter.
Four-time champion Williams came back from a set down to defeat Romanian teenager Simona Halep 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
But she still looked rusty, playing just her fourth match since returning from an 11-month lay-off.
“I’m hoping to get better as the event goes on,” said seventh-seeded Williams.
“It was really windy out there in the first set. I told myself to relax more. I need to get more practice.”
Meanwhile, Serbian 18th-seeded Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, eased past Greek Eleni Daniilidou 6-3, 6-0.
“I think lots of players tend to peak for this event. It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world,” said Ivanovic.
“I’m just very happy to manage to win a few matches.”
Earlier, Vera Zvonareva defeated fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 7-6 .
Nadal, Murray sail through
Earlier, Rafael Nadal sailed into the last-32, playing under the Centre Court roof for the first time, while Andy Murray waited for the rain to stop before joining his rival in the third round.
Defending champion Nadal eased past Ryan Sweeting of the US 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Nadal said he preferred to play without the £80 million roof covering the action on Centre Court.
“This is the best court in the world,” he said. “It’s a new experience under the roof but I prefer to play with no roof, that’s for sure.”
Meanwhile, Murray, seeded-fourth and scheduled to meet Nadal in the last-four, was equally untroubled, racing to a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win over Germany’s Tobias Kamke.
“He serves well,” said Murray. “That always makes it difficult. His best results are on grass, which is surprising for someone that serves like him, that makes it tricky.”
“I served well today, but the rest of my game needs some work,” said Murray after his Court One workout.
Three-time runner-up Andy Roddick, the eighth seed, also eased through, defeating Romania’s Victor Hanescu 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 and next plays Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
Aisam, Bopanna sent packing
Pakistan tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi and his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna squandered a match point in a nerve-wrecking first-round clash to make an early exit from the men’s doubles event of Wimbledon.
The fourth-seeded Indo-Pak pair lost 6-2, 2-6, 19-21 to the unseeded Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah at court number six. The Colombians came back strongly after losing the opening set and went on to stun the 2010 US Open finalists.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011.
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