LONDON: Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon third spherical for the 16th time on Wednesday as career-long rival Andy Murray suffered his earliest-ever exit from the All England Club.
Top seed Djokovic brushed apart 79th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and can face Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic for a last-16 place.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I started very well, solid from the back of the court,” mentioned Djokovic, who’s seeking to be a part of Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion.
“I made him work for every point and worked him around the court,” added the 20-time main winner.
Kokkinakis had likened Djokovic to a “brick wall” earlier than the match.
“It was one-way traffic. I got chopped today,” mentioned the 26-year-old Australian after his Centre Court torment.
Former world primary Murray, the 2013 and 2016 champion, went down 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 to big-serving John Isner in his second-round conflict.
Murray, now 52 within the rankings, failed to interrupt serve as soon as in opposition to 2018 semi-finalist Isner, who unleashed 36 aces and 82 winners in complete.
“He didn’t give me lots of chances,” mentioned Murray, whose earlier earliest exits got here within the third spherical in 2005 and 2021.
“My game was in a good place. I felt good on the court, just couldn’t get the win.”
Isner, 37, was gracious within the aftermath of his first win in 9 conferences in opposition to the Briton.
“I am most definitely not a better tennis player than Andy Murray. I might have been a little bit better than him today,” mentioned the American.
Isner additionally took his profession aces complete to 13,724 to sit down simply 4 behind the document held by Ivo Karlovic.
Third seed and French Open runner-up Casper Ruud, who was scheduled to face Djokovic within the semi-finals, was knocked out by 112th-ranked Ugo Humbert, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.
– ‘Crazy’ finish –
But Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz stayed on track to fulfill the six-time champion within the final eight by reaching the third spherical for the primary time.
Alcaraz, simply 19, triumphed over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0), 6-3.
The flamboyant Spanish shot-maker goes on to face Germany’s Oscar Otte for a spot within the final 16.
Otte wanted simply 15 minutes to reach the third spherical when American opponent Christian Harrison retired injured at 3-1 down of their second-round tie.
Alcaraz’s compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina suffered a controversial exit by the hands of Jiri Vesely.
At match level down within the ultimate set tie-break, Davidovich Fokina hit a ball out of the courtroom, was penalised a degree and misplaced the tie.
“I don’t agree with it. That’s crazy… what a lousy way to end it,” US tennis nice John McEnroe advised ESPN.
In the ladies’s match, second seed Anett Kontaveit, ninth seed and former champion Garbine Muguruza in addition to 10th-seeded US Open winner Emma Raducanu all exited.
Kontaveit misplaced 6-4, 6-Zero to Germany’s Julie Niemeier because the Estonian endured one other Grand Slam to overlook.
Kontaveit has made the quarter-finals of a serious simply as soon as in 29 makes an attempt.
Muguruza, the 2017 champion, misplaced her delayed first-round conflict 6-4, 6-Zero to Belgium’s Greet Minnen.
Raducanu, bidding to turn out to be Britain’s first feminine champion on the All England Club in 45 years, was overwhelmed 6-3, 6-Three by France’s 55th-ranked Caroline Garcia.
“I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special,” mentioned Garcia, who fired 25 winners previous the British teenager.
There have been no such dramas for third-seed Ons Jabeur or fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who went by way of to the final 32 in straight units.
– ‘Amazing support’ –
Lesia Tsurenko got here out on prime in three units over Ukrainian compatriot Anhelina Kalinina to make the third spherical for the second time.
Tsurenko, ranked at 101, proudly wore a ribbon within the colors of Ukraine on her shirt.
“It was a big court. Two Ukrainian players but a lot of people were watching us. We felt amazing support,” mentioned Tsurenko after her 3-6, 6-4, 6-Three win.
“Today on the way from the hotel to the club, we got a driver,” she added. “She has taken two individuals from Ukraine into her home.
“I think it’s amazing when people help Ukrainians so much.”