Novak Djokovic battles past inspired Jacob Fearnley in Wimbledon R2

Novak Djokovic took down world no. 277 in four sets after three hours

by Jovica Ilic
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Novak Djokovic battles past inspired Jacob Fearnley in Wimbledon R2
© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is through into the third round at Wimbledon. Novak faced the home player with a wild card Jacob Fearnley and scored a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 victory in three hours.

Thus, Djokovic notched his 94th Wimbledon win, passing the second round in 18 out of his 19 trips to the All England Club! Like in the opening match, the Serb played without any issues around his knee, moving comfortably but losing pace a bit in sets three and four.

Fearnley took charge and attacked, claiming the third set but ending his campaign after getting broken in the closing stages of the fourth. Jacob earned a wild card after conquering the Nottingham Challenger as a qualifier and used it with both hands.

The Briton scored his first Major win in the first round and presented himself to the tennis world against the 24-time Major winner on Centre Court. The Briton stood two points away from forcing a decider before the Serb shifted into a higher gear and sealed the deal.

Djokovic claimed 15 points more than Fearnley, delivering four breaks and losing serve two times.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 277 had more winners but also more errors, trying everything but hitting the exit door despite a valiant effort.

Novak made a perfect start and found the A-game behind the initial shot right from the opening point. The Serb lost a couple of points in five service games, forcing his rival to follow that pace to remain in touch. Fearnley left the nerves behind and presented his best tennis in the first part of the set, following the pace of world no.

2. Novak clinched the fifth game with a drop shot winner at the net, and Jacob responded with a service winner in the next one for 3-3. The Briton moved 30-15 in front in the eighth game before facing a break point. Fearnley sprayed a slice error, losing serve and sending Djokovic 5-3 in front.

The Serb served for the set in game nine and landed a forehand crosscourt winner, holding at love for 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Gettyn Images Sport

Novak Djokovic prevailed over Jacob Fearnley.

Jacob produced two fine holds at the beginning of the second set and created his first break chance in the fourth game after Novak's backhand mistake.

Djokovic denied it with an ace down the T line and held for 2-2 after the rival's forehand error. They held at love in games five and six before the Serb made a push on the return at 3-3. Jacob missed a backhand and offered Novak two break points.

World no. 2 converted the first, moving 4-3 in front and cementing the lead with a hold at love a few minutes later with a powerful serve. Fearnley served to stay in the set in the ninth game and held after deuces to prolong the battle.

Djokovic served for the set at 5-4 and landed an ace, wrapping it up and opening two sets to love advantage after an hour and 15 minutes. They served well in the first four games of the third set, and Jacob built a 40-15 lead at 2-2.

Novak climbed back and rattled off four points, drawing the rival's mistake and opening a 3-2 advantage.

Jacob Fearnley, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Briton stayed competitive and created two break points in game six.

Djokovic denied the first with a service winner on the second serve before Fearnley seized the second after world no. 2's backhand error, leveling the score at 3-3. Jacob denied a break point in the seventh game with a volley winner and fired an ace for 4-3.

Novak responded with an ace in the eighth game and shifted into a higher gear on the return in the next one. Djokovic earned break chances with a fine lob and Fearnley denied them, holding with a forehand winner and opening a 5-4 advantage.

Novak left those chances behind and held at 15 while serving to stay in the set. Playing well in those moments, Jacob lands a service winner in the 11th game, opening a 6-5 advantage and keeping the pressure on world no. 2. Djokovic lost a point at the net, facing a set point and spraying a forehand error, handing the set to his rival 7-5 and experiencing a setback.

The Briton held after a deuce at the beginning of the fourth set with a powerful serve before the Serb locked the result at 1-1.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Fearnley closed the third game with a forehand winner and embraced a serve & volley two games later for a 3-2 lead.

Jacob attacked on the return in the sixth game and generated two break points after Novak's double fault. The seven-time champion denied them, the second with a smash winner, and held for 3-3. Fearnley produced his fifth comfortable hold in the seventh game, landing a service winner and keeping the pressure on Djokovic.

The Serb played a great point in the eighth game and clinched it with a service winner for 4-4 and more drama. Jacob felt no pressure in the ninth game, firing a forehand winner for a hold at love and a 5-4 lead.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M.

Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak stood two points from losing the set in the tenth game before painting three winners, leveling the score at 5-5 and introducing an exciting conclusion. Fearnley sprayed a forehand error in the 11th game and faced a break point.

He hit a huge double fault, losing serve and sending Djokovic 6-5 in front. Novak served for the win in game 12 and sealed the deal with a forehand winner, booking a place in the third round.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon
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