Top seed Novak Djokovic took part in a thrilling battle on Centre Court to reach the third round of the Wimbledon Championships. The Serb will contest his next match against France’s Gilles Simon, whom he has faced on seven previous occasions, with the Djokovic vs Simon Head-to-Head standing at 6-1.
The 2011 champion was well on his way to a comfortable straight sets victory over Radek Stepanek before the tide began to turn. Stepanek began to mix up his attack and maintain unpredictable gameplay. It worked for the better part of two sets, as he forced a tiebreak in the final two sets but couldn’t force a fifth set. Djokovic would finally earn the 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) for his 40th match win at Wimbledon after a dramatic challenge on match point.
“[Stepanek] has great touch, great talent at the net. He covered my passing shots very well,” said Djokovic. “Credit to [Stepanek] for fighting in the third. I thought I could have finished the match in three sets,” said Djokovic.
“But I didn’t come out with my first serve when I needed to in the tie-breaker, and he came back. He fought. It was a very close, very even fourth set. It could have gone either way,” Djokovic added.”I’m just happy to have spent this amount of time on the court, to play a lot of rallies, to return and to serve. Physically I feel fine. This can just help me mentally for the [remainder] of the event.”
Gilles Simon earned 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4 win over Robin Haase to secure his spot in the third round of the Wimbledon Championships. The Frenchman stuck 7 aces, 46 winners and 20 unforced errors for a clean comfortable performance.
Although Simon does hold a win over Djokovic, it was their very first encounter back at the Marseilles Open in 2008. Since then, Djokovic has reeled off six consecutive wins over Simon, all of which took place on hard court. This is their first meeting on grass, and while Djokovic looked slightly lost against Stepanek, he should have no such issues against Simon.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets