Fifth seed Bianca Andreescu crashed out at the hands of Alize Cornet.
Novak Djokovic cruised through to the Wimbledon third round without much difficulty. He comfortably beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the grass court Grand Slam.
It was a repeat of the 2018 Wimbledon final between the Serb and the South African and the outcome wasn’t any different either. Djokovic had started his campaign with a come-from-behind victory over Great Britain’s Jack Draper in the first round, but didn’t face any sort of resistance from Anderson.
Djokovic is aiming for a third successive Wimbledon crown and his sixth overall. He will take on Italian Andreas Seppi or American Denis Kudla in the next round. The World No.1 has 19 Grand Slam titles to his name and is looking to move level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the top of the pile for the most Grand Slam crowns.
The Serbian also has his eyes on grabbing the elusive Olympic gold medal, with the quadrennial event in Tokyo less than a month away.
Nishikori achieves landmark victory
Elsewhere, it was a landmark day for Japanese tennis superstar Kei Nishikori, as he picked up his 100th career Grand Slam victory. Nishikori proved too good for 22-year-old Alexei Popyrin at Wimbledon 2021. He dismantled the Aussie’s big serve once in each set to carve out a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Popyrin, who’s risen 46 places in the rankings this year while also carving out his first ATP tournament win, was on the back foot against the two-time quarter-finalist from the moment he dropped his opening service game. Nishikori became only the 12th active player to reach a century of Grand Slam victories. His next opponent will be another Australian Jordan Thompson.
A day of double French delight
It proved to be a successful day for French tennis at Wimbledon. Jeremy Chardy snapped a four-match losing streak to claim his first grass court victory of the season, as he overcame 2021 breakthrough star Aslan Karatsev 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Another Frenchman Gael Monfils also moved to the next round after overcoming a tough battle versus Christopher O’Connell of Australia. The 35-year-old recorded a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 victory. However, Nick Kyrgios defeated France’s Ugo Humbert 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7 in a close encounter.
Andreescu knocked out; Svitolina, Pavlyuchenkova through
Fifth seed Bianca Andreescu’s nightmare season continued as she suffered a shock exit at the hands of Alize Cornet. The 2019 US Open champion was ousted 6-2, 6-1 by the unseeded Frenchwoman. The 21-year-old fifth seed missed both the Madrid and Rome Open after testing positive for COVID-19. A first-round exit in the French Open followed for Andreescu. The latest defeat is yet another blow for the promising Canadian.
On the other hand, third seed Elina Svitolina and 2021 Roland Garros runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova began their Wimbledon campaign with wins. Svitolina overcame a stubborn Alisa Van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. The Ukrainian was tested all the way but despite losing the second set, she dug deep to clinch victory and move into the second round. Next up for Svitolina will be Poland’s Magda Linette.
As for Pavlyuchenkova, it was a completely different match. She underlined her superiority and dominated the contest throughout to pick up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Romania’s Ana Bogdan. The Russian is coming into this year’s Wimbledon, after reaching her maiden Grand Slam final in Paris earlier this month. Pavlyuchenkova will tackle the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova in the second round.
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