Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis has been swept aside by top seed and defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets during the second round of the grass court major.

The currently 79th-ranked Australian famously defeated Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami Masters in 2018 but there were no signs of another upset during the contest on center court as the 20-time major champion dictated terms from the start.

Six-time champion Djokovic snuffed out any prospect of drama with his clinical 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 triumph in exactly two hours.

The Serb, who defeated Kokkinakis in straight sets during their only previous meeting seven years ago at Roland Garros, broke his opponent’s serve early in each of the three sets for a total of five breaks during the contest.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic in action during his second-round match against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis.(Reuters: Hannah Mckay)

Djokovic dominated rallies with his precise groundstrokes and was eager to step forward at every opportunity – winning 30 out of 38 points on the net.

He brought the crowd to their feet with well-disguised drop shots and when Kokkinakis chased a few of them down, Djokovic calmly played the overhead lob to keep his opponent stranded at the net.

Djokovic faced a lone break point on his own serve and closed out the victory in two hours on his second match point to set up a third-round meeting against Serb compatriot Miomir Kecmanović.

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The Serb reckoned he had raised his game a significant notch or two from the mixed bag he produced in his first-round win over Kwon Soon-woo as he outclassed Kokkinakis, firing 29 winners past the Australian.

“I must say I was quite pleased the way I’ve raised my level in two days,” Djokovic told the center court crowd.

“It was a really, really high-quality performance and I’m really pleased. I’m very happy.”

The 26-year-old Kokkinakis was constantly put under pressure with the depth and quality of world number three’s groundstrokes.

His powerful serve was breached on five occasions while he failed to crack the Djokovic delivery once, with his one break point repelled.

It was only the Adelaide player’s third time in the main draw at SW19 and his best result, after the last two ended in the first round.

ABC / wires

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