Serbian defeats Thompson and will next face Wawrinka or Etcheverry.
Novak Djokovic won his second consecutive Wimbledon match, navigating a tough tie-break on his route to a straight-sets victory at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The Serbian won 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-5 against feisty Australian Jordan Thompson on Wednesday evening, extending his pursuit for a fifth straight London crown and an eighth overall.
Djokovic’s triumph was his 350th Grand Slam match win, becoming him the third player to achieve that mark behind Roger Federer (369) and Serena Williams (365). An eighth Wimbledon championship would also tie Federer for the most men’s singles trophies won at the event, and Djokovic would become the Open Era’s oldest men’s champion.
The 36-year-old will need to win at least one more match to depart Wimbledon as the top guy in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. If he makes it to the fourth round and outperforms current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, the Serbian will be back at the top of the men’s game. The two are seeded to face in the final, a tantalizing battle that would also serve as a straight shootout for World No. 1.
Djokovic defeated Thompson on Centre Court to win his 30th successive grass-court match. Despite the continuous effort of the Australian, who won 46 of 73 net points (63 percent), the Serbian broke serve twice in the match — once in the first set and again in the last game — and did not face a break point.
“I’m not sure I wanted to meet him this early in the tournament,” Djokovic remarked during his on-court interview. “He was a little unlucky in the second set, but he played a great match.” He certainly deserves a standing ovation.”
Thompson, a finalist on the grass of’s-Hertogenbosch last month, came back from two sets down to overcome Brandon Nakashima in the first round and took that confidence into his first Lexus ATP Head2Head match with Djokovic. Thompson, a tough opponent with his aggressive style, placed the second seed under continual strain and did not allow him to settle in from the baseline.
Despite this, Djokovic was faultless on serve and did just enough on return — despite 21 aces — to win in straight sets in two hours and 27 minutes. A Thompson double fault in the second-set tie-break cost him the critical mini-break and a succession of sinking returns at Thompson’s feet pushed Djokovic to earn the match-clinching break in the third set.
Djokovic’s next opponent will be either Stan Wawrinka or 29th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, with the pair due to play their second-round encounter on Thursday after rain disrupted the schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thompson, who was 2-5 on tour versus Top 5 players, was denied his first major victory against a player of that caliber.