ATP Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic eases past Denis Kudla to hit round three

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ATP Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic eases past Denis Kudla to hit round three

World no. 1 and four-time Wimbledon champion is safely through to the third round for the 14th time, defeating Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 32 minutes. Novak controlled the pace from start to finish, earning the 67th triumph at the All England Club and the 30th in 2019, hitting the third round for the 11th year in a row after that surprising loss to Marat Safin in 2008.

It was another superb performance from the Serb who dominated on both serve and return, controlling the pace of the rallies with well-balanced slices and flat strokes, placing one deep return after another to leave the rival far behind and race towards the next challenge.

Firing 37 winners and just 18 unforced errors, Novak had the upper hand despite two service games lost, stealing more than half of the return points for seven breaks from 13 opportunities that kept him safe throughout the encounter.

The Serb broke in the second game of the match to establish the order after a backhand error from Denis, landing a volley winner in the fourth game for another break and holding at love for a 5-0 lead after 13 minutes! Kudla pulled one break back in game seven with a forehand winner, reducing the deficit to 5-3 before Djokovic sealed the opener with a hold at 15 in game nine for a 6-3 after 28 minutes.

The American hit a double fault in the third game of the second set to suffer a break, sending Novak 4-1 up with another backhand mistake in game five. Djokovic suffered a break in the next game following a loose forehand but there was nothing wrong with his game overall, placing another deep return to break Denis at 15 and move 5-2 ahead, closing the set with an ace a few minutes later and heading towards the finish line after less than an hour spent on the court.

A perfect drop shot sent Novak in front at the beginning of the third set, clinching another one at 4-2 and crossing the finish line with another hold in game eight to enter the last 32.