• Second seed Kontaveit knocked out, Raducanu gets Wimbledon reality check from Garcia
Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon third round for the 16th time yesterday as potential semi-final opponent Casper Ruud crashed out.
Top seed Djokovic brushed aside 79th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and will face Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic for a last-16 place.
Third seed and French Open runner-up Ruud was knocked out by 112th-ranked Ugo Humbert, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I started very well, solid from the back of the court,” said Djokovic, who is looking to join Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion.
“I made him work for every point and worked him around the court,” added the 20-time major winner.
Kokkinakis had likened Djokovic to a “brick wall” before the match.
“It was one-way traffic. I got chopped today,” said the 26-year-old Australian after his Centre Court torment.
In the women’s event, second seed Anett Kontaveit lost 6-4, 6-0 to Germany’s Julie Niemeier as the Estonian endured another Grand Slam to forget.
Kontaveit has made the quarter-finals of a major just once in 29 attempts.
Ninth seed and 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza also exited in her delayed first-round clash, losing 6-4, 6-0 to Belgium’s Greet Minnen.
Lesia Tsurenko came out on top in three sets over Ukrainian compatriot Anhelina Kalinina to make the third round for the second time.
Tsurenko, ranked at 101, proudly wore a ribbon in the colours of Ukraine on her shirt.
“It was a big court. Two Ukrainian players but a lot of people were watching us. We felt amazing support,” said Tsurenko after her 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.
“Today on the way from hotel to the club, we got a driver,” she added. “She has taken two people from Ukraine into her house.
“I think it’s amazing when people help Ukrainians so much.”
Meanwhile US Open champion Emma Raducanu played down the pressure on her young shoulders after crashing out of Wimbledon in the second round yesterday. The British 10th seed went down 6-3, 6-3 against Caroline Garcia, disappointing a partisan home crowd on Centre Court. But the 19-year-old was sanguine after her defeat, saying she “didn’t really have many expectations of myself”.
Raducanu was asked whether experiencing the pressure at Wimbledon again would help her as she prepares for the defence of her US Open title.
But she laughed it off, saying she was looking forward to returning to Flushing Meadows.
“There’s no pressure,” she said. “Like, why is there any pressure? I’m still 19. “Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a Slam. Going back to New York, it’s going to be cool because I have got a lot of experiences playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you.
“I don’t mind that. I mean, for me, everything is learning. I’m embracing every single moment that is thrown at me.”
Raducanu, who was troubled by a side strain in the run-up to Wimbledon, was broken five times in the match by her French opponent, ranked 55 in the world.
The British player was on the back foot early in the contest after being broken in her first service game and won just 45 percent of points on her first serve.
She said he had been hampered by a lack of time on court since the French Open due to various niggles but that she had been fit for Wimbledon.
“I declared myself fully fit when I walked out onto the court on the first day,” she said.
“But I’ve played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls at this level and win a round I think is a pretty good achievement.”
Garcia, fresh from winning on grass at Bad Homberg, hit 25 winners in an impressive display.
“Emma is a huge player and in her home tournament and she proved she can do very well on the big stage,” she said.
“I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special.”
France’s Caroline Garcia returns the ball to Britain’s Emma Raducanu during their second round match on the third day of 2022 Wimbledon Championships in southwest London yesterday. (AFP)
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