Novak Djokovic through but rain wreaks havoc at Wimbledon

Everything continues to fall nicely for Novak Djokovic as he looks forward to a third-round tie at Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic through but rain wreaks havoc at Wimbledon

While the weather was causing havoc on the outside courts on the third day of this year’s championship, the world number one was playing under the Centre Court roof against Adrian Mannarino. The defending champion wrapped up a 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7/5) win in two hours and five minutes and with it secured an Open-era record of 30 successive grand slam victories.

As can often seem the way for players of supreme talent, such records seem to be swept away with some ease, and Djokovic is taking it all in his stride.

“I have to be very grateful to have the opportunity to make history of the sport,” the US, Australian, and French Open champion said.

“Of course, every single record that I managed to achieve in last couple of years is important and is unique to me.

“Every next one that I have a possibility to achieve is motivation more. That’s how I look at it.”

Such an appetite for success will dismay the rest of the tour, who have found little to counter his dominance over the last 18 months.

Roger Federer is perhaps one man who could provide the right answers.

Back from injury after missing the French Open, the 34-year-old 17-time grand slam winner squashed British breakthrough act Marcus Willis 6-0 6-3 6-4, despite the rare occurrence of having the Centre Court crowd going against him.

Federer has been cautious to confirm himself as being fully-fit after his back problem, but suggested he was feeling good after this brief workout.

“Actually, I thought I was going to have a very easy practice yesterday, just because of the toughness of the first round,” he said.

“But actually I practised much more than I thought I would. I had great intensity yesterday. I felt fresh as I woke up and it was the same thing today.”

The esteemed names of Federer and Djokovic were able to get their work done in the dry, while the rest of the field battled the elements, darting back and forth between the courts and locker rooms.

Play was delayed by 45 minutes at the start of the day — following on from a truncated day on Tuesday — and little was possible before the players went off again.

Action resumed just before 5pm, but damp conditions and fading light brought everyone off again at 6.30pm.

Tomas Berdych was glad to get his work done quickly when he had the chance. The 10th-seeded Czech was close to securing victory over Ivan Dodig when rain started falling on Tuesday and, even though the conditions remained grim, he was able to finish the job. Berdych beat Dodig 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 6-1 7-6 (7/2) to set up a meeting with Benjamin Becker.

“The weather is always a challenge, but with all the years on the tour, you get used to it. So, really, it’s just something where you just have to keep your focus,” said Berdych.

When play resumed on the outside courts a little before 5pm, Australian Bernard Tomic was quick to book his place in the second round. He and Fernando Verdasco were locked at 2-2 overnight, but Tomic got the job done before and after the rain, the 19th seed winning 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4.

“He’s very tough, because you’re playing a top player and a very respected player on tour,” said Tomic. “He was going to be a very tough first round, everyone knew. Whoever won this match had a big chance of going further into the draw, for sure.”

Other winners were the 24th-ranked Alexander Zverev over Paul-Henri Mathieu, Jiri Vesely against Igor Sijsling, and Moldova’s Radu Albot over Gastao Elias.

With a hefty backlog of fixtures to clear, second-round matches involving Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin, Gilles Muller, Ivo Karlovic, and Nicolas Almagro were cancelled for the day without a ball being hit. Milos Raonic and Jack Sock’s games were also called off and there was disappointment for those out on court in the evening as the bad weather returned.

Before the rain returned, the eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem wrapped up a 7-5 6-4 6-4 win over Florian Meyer.

Only 18 of the billed 74 matches were completed.

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