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Nervous Federer eases past Lajovic into third round

08 July 2017

Novak Djokovic briskly brushed aside Adam Pavlasek under the blazing sun to progress to the third round at the All England Club - and then ran into a verbal volley from John McEnroe.

But the way the afternoon went meant Centre Court spectators who paid 56 pounds (more than $70) per ticket, some of them waiting in line for hours, got only brief glimpses of seven-time champion Federer or three-time champion Djokovic.

Wimbledon will take place in the coming weeks, which is one of the four big tennis grand slam events of the year (along with the U.S., French and Australian Opens) and generally regarded as the most prestigious. He will have certainly made a few bookmakers change their odds after his emphatic performance. The former world number one will play 29th seed Juan Martin del Potro or Ernests Gulbis in a tough third round match on Saturday. He consolidated his break advantage with a hold to love.

Rybarikova, who reached a career-high ranking of 31 in 2013, had surgery on her left wrist and right knee in 2016 and missed the rest of the season after a first-round defeat at Wimbledon previous year. However, he is struggling for form in 2017 as he has only won four matches on tour, including a first round victory at SW19. "I served and [the ball] went straight at him".

Federer was broken in the first game, punished for three errant backhands, and while he hit back in the fourth it was a disjointed start from the Swiss, full of careless mistakes from the back.

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So we're starting to say: "'Wait a minute, is this possible with him [Djokovic]'".

The fact that Djokovic was THE dominant force for so long, and suddenly tailed off has led to certain suggestions, chief of them being problems in his personal life, and it is at that particular aspect that McEnroe, always happy to stoke the fire, latched onto.

A withdrawal wasn't the most satisfying way to secure a record 85th match win at Wimbledon, but the 35-year-old, who hopes to become the tournament's oldest male champion, will have enjoyed the extra rest before his first ever meeting with Lajovic. The winning point came via a double fault, which says it all. Got early breaks in sets 2 and 3 and was able to protect my serve in a good way. He pinned his Czech opponent behind the baseline with unerring groundstrokes off both wings, moving him from side to side in the 30 Celsius heat and forcing error after error. "I'm not sure why", Federer said. He served out to a two sets to love lead easily, extending his lead to two sets to love, merely over an hour being played on the court.

Grigor Dimitrov, the 13th-seeded player from Bulgaria, beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 and will next face Sela. With Djokovic committed to the net following a weak drop shot, Pavlasek seized his chance to stroke the ball into the space behind and take the match to 3-2.

But how realistic is a Wimbledon championship for Federer this year?

Nervous Federer eases past Lajovic into third round