Djokovic And Federer Profit From Retirements At Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic

LONDON, July 4, 2017

Novak Djokovic began his 13th successive Wimbledon campaign against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in Tuesday’s second match on Centre Court. Fresh from winning his fourth Tour-level grass court title at Eastbourne last weekend, Djokovic maintained his record of always reaching the second round at The Championships.

The 29-year-old from Serbia benefited from the retirement of Klizan due to a left leg injury, leading 6-3, 2-0 after 40 minutes.

“It was great to be back on Centre Court, the cathedral of tennis, where I have many special memories. It’s never nice to win like this, but I tried to focus on my game plan. I thought I served well, but didn’t do so well on my returns,” told Djokovic, who is bidding to win his fourth Wimbledon and 13th Grand Slam title.

The second seed will next challenge Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic, who beat #NextGenATP star Ernesto Escebedo from the United States 6-7, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and five minutes.

Federer Earns Milestone Win

In the following match on Centre Court, seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer returned to Grand Slam action for the first time since claiming his 18th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open. The Swiss recorded his 85th match-win at SW 19 when Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov retired down 6-3, 3-0. Feder has taken sole ownership of first place on the list for most match-wins at Wimbledon in the Open Era, ahead of Jimmy Connors.

Asked about being ranked World No. 3, Federer said:

“I’m happy right now in the situation I find myself in. I’m healthy. I’m back at Wimbledon. I just won my first round. The times when I was world No. 1, it felt great. It’s sort of achieving the impossible, showing up when everybody feels you’re the favourite, everybody believes that you should win or have to win. I enjoyed that part of playing. But then again, it’s secondary to the love for the game I have, how much I love winning. Rankings get shoved aside a little bit for me at this stage of my life.”

Federer will next take on Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

Kerber Slips Past Falconi

Earlier in the day, women’s World No. 1 and last year’s runner-up Angelique Kerber opened her Wimbledon campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over US-American qualifier Irina Falconi.

The 29-year-old German scored her 50th career win on grass in the first round victory, but was made to work hard by the former World No.64 in the 87-minute encounter.

“I think it was a good match, a good first match for me. I mean, I was enjoying to being back on the Centre Court,” Kerber said. “I think, yeah, to playing first rounds in Grand Slams are always tough, especially with my first-round match that I lost in Paris. I was actually just thinking about point by point, trying to finding my rhythm during the whole match.”

Kerber will next take on Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium.