Top seed Novak Djokovic once again looked every bit the dominant player who has won the last three Wimbledon titles as he swept aside Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday to power into the third round of the Championships.
On Monday, the 35-year-old, bidding for his fourth Wimbledon title in a row and his seventh overall, had looked scratchy during his opening win against Kwon Soon-woo but he was back close to lofty standards against the 79th-ranked Kokkinakis.
The Australian famously defeated Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami masters at 2018 but there were no signs of another upset during the contest on Centre Court as the 20-time major champion dictated terms from the start.
It was the 23rd straight victory for Djokovic at the grasscourt Grand Slam.
"I'm very happy with my performance today," Djokovic said on court. "I thought I started off very well, very solid from the back of the court, made him work for every point that I managed to get his serve back in play.
"I tried to work him around the court, bring a lot of variety in the game.
"It was not easy to serve because of the wind, it was very swirly today on the court, so tough to toss the ball. But I think from my side overall, a really high-quality performance and I'm very pleased."
The Serb, who defeated Kokkinakis in straight sets in their only previous meeting seven years ago at Roland Garros, broke his opponent's serve early in each of the three sets and managed five breaks in the match.
Djokovic dominated rallies with his precise groundstrokes and was eager to step forward at every opportunity - winning 30 out of 38 points at the net.
He brought the crowd to its feet with well-disguised drop shots and when Kokkinakis chased a few of them down, Djokovic calmly played the overhead lob to keep his opponent stranded at the net.
The only opportunity Kokkinakis had on Djokovic's serve came when the Serb was serving for victory, but he duly saved the breakpoint and closed out the win in two hours on his second match point.
"I must say that I'm quite pleased with the way that I raised the level of tennis in two days," Djokovic added.
"Hopefully, I can keep that trajectory, keep getting better as the tournament progresses. I'm obviously just thinking about the next challenge and hopefully things will get better and better."
For a place in the fourth round, Djokovic will meet compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic who beat Chile's Alejandro Tabilo in four sets.
French Open finalist Ruud loses to Humbert
Frenchman Ugo Humbert forgot his rackets but definitely brought his A game to Wimbledon as he recovered strongly from a shaky start to beat French Open runner-up Casper Ruud 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.
It was a deserved win for the 24-year-old, who had lost in the first round at his six previous Grand Slam events, and as world number 112 was a big underdog against the Norwegian who lost to Rafa Nadal in the Roland Garros final three weeks ago.
Ruud was also the only one of the top eight men who came through the first round without dropping a set, though he did need two tiebreaks to get past Albert Ramos Vinolas.
He was the better player in the first set, with Humbert perhaps distracted by turning up on court without any rackets after the start was delayed for over 90 minutes by rain.
Humbert, however, quickly improved in the second set, breaking for a 3-1 lead and again to love en route to levelling the match.
The left-hander continued to unload in the third, wayward at first as he trailed 3-0, but finding a succession of winners to claw back to 4-4 before taking it 7-5 on the back of 21 winners.
Ruud regrouped and there was little between them in a series of high-quality exchanges but Humbert’s confidence was up and as he continued to go for the lines. It paid off when he got the key break for 5-4 on the back of two superb drives and nervelessly served out to love to seal victory.
Humbert, who reached the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2019 and won the Halle grass event last year, will play Belgium's David Goffin in the third round.
"I love to play on grass, I've played a lot of good matches," he said. "I've had some big battles. It was a great match and a great atmosphere."
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