Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon third round for the 16th time on Wednesday as potential semi-final opponent Casper Ruud crashed out.
Meanwhile two-time champion Andy Murray copped his earliest-ever exit, and there was mayhem in the women’s draw with second seed Anett Kontaveit losing, as did former US Open champion and home hope Emma Raducanu, and ninth seed and 2017 champ Garbine Muguruza.
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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.
“If that’s not his top intensity, I’m going to get chopped even more next time,” said the Australian.
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WOMEN’S STARS BOMB OUT
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.
RADUCANO SAYS PRESSURE ‘IS A JOKE’
US Open champion Emma Raducanu played down the pressure on her young shoulders after crashing out of Wimbledon in the second round on Wednesday.
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.
MURRAY COPS EARLIES EXIT
Andy Murray suffered his earliest-ever defeat at Wimbledon on Wednesday, beaten 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 by big-serving John Isner in the second round.
The British two-time champion, 35, struggled to tame the giant American’s serve, failing to break once in the match on Centre Court.
Former world number one Murray, who has slipped to 52nd in the rankings, looked to be heading out in straight sets but clawed his way back into the contest by taking the third-set tie-break, celebrating wildly in front of his passionate fans.
The British star has a stellar record at Wimbledon, winning the trophy in 2013 and 2016.
“He didn’t give me lots of chances,” said Murray, whose previous earliest exits came in the third round in 2005 and 2021.
“My game was in a good place. I felt good on the court, just couldn’t get the win.”
Isner, 37, was gracious in the aftermath of his first win in nine meetings against the Briton.
“I am most definitely not a better tennis player than Andy Murray. I might have been a little bit better than him today,” said the American.
Isner also took his career aces total to 13,724 to sit just four behind the record held by Ivo Karlovic.
TEEN STAR ALCARAZ SHINES
Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz reached the Wimbledon third round for the first time on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands.
Alcaraz, just 19, triumphed 6-4, 7-6 (7/0), 6-3 and goes on to face Germany’s Oscar Otte for a place in the last 16.
Otte earlier needed just 15 minutes to reach the third round when American opponent Christian Harrison retired injured at 3-1 down in their second-round tie.
PROUD ALL-UKRAINE BATTLE
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.”
In her post-match press conference she said she had been given permission by Wimbledon chiefs to wear the ribbon, referring to the “horrible things that are going on in Ukraine”.