Djokovic makes a big statement in small arena

FAN Editor
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2018. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second round match against Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos . REUTERS/Toby Melville

July 5, 2018

By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic might have needed to get his sat-nav out to find his way to Court Two at Wimbledon but once he arrived it was all one way traffic as he reached the third round with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos.

The last time Djokovic had to venture on to an outside court at the All England Club was in 2009, when he played a fourth-round match against Dudi Sela on Court 3.

Since then he has become accustomed to playing in the biggest arenas the sport has to offer while amassing a Grand Slam trophy haul of 12 – including three at Wimbledon – and collecting more than $100 million in prize money.

While the audience numbers were more limited on Court Two compared with his usual playing fields of Center and Court One, Djokovic still made it a day to remember for the 4,000 fans who had crammed into the more intimate arena.

He coasted towards his 60th win at Wimbledon by breaking his 126th-ranked Argentine opponent six times and fired down 15 aces.

The only cause for concern was when Djokovic suddenly started wincing while running along the baseline in the seventh game of the third set and called on the trainer to get his left thigh massaged.

That interruption only delayed the inevitable for Zeballos, who lost both games after the resumption to bow out.

Twelve months after his 2017 season came to an abrupt end at Wimbledon, when Djokovic retired in the quarter-finals with an elbow injury, the Serb served notice that he should be considered as one of the title contenders despite being ranked only 21st in the world.

He has dropped only 12 games in two matches and appeared in top form on Thursday – until the sight of a trainer massaging his thigh raised a few question marks.

The 12th seed will next take on either home hope Kyle Edmund or American Bradley Klahn.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Clare Lovell)

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