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Thanasi Kokkinakis loses to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Wimbledon second round

Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic takes down Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of the grasscourt major.

Thanasi Kokkinakis sincerely hopes Novak Djokovic retains his Wimbledon crown after the Australian fell victim to a centre-court masterclass from the three-time defending champion.

Key points:
  • Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis lost to top seed Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in only two hours
  • Djokovic will next face Serb compatriot Miomir Kecmanović 
  • Australians Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson and Jason Kubler remain in the men's composition

Kokkinakis had both the best and worst view in the house as Djokovic delivered an imperious performance to storm into the third round with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 schooling on Wednesday. 

Making his first appearance at the All England Club in five years, Kokkinakis felt Djokovic was untouchable at times and said he would be surprised if anyone stopped the Serb from claiming a fourth consecutive title and the seventh of his grand career.

"If someone beats him when he's playing like that, it means I'm even further off than I thought. Hope not if he plays like that, anyway," Kokkinakis said.

"If that's not his top intensity, I'm going to get chopped even more next time. He returned unbelievably, just did everything well."


Hungry for a 21st grand slam singles crown to pull within one of great rival Rafael Nadal on the all-time men's major titles leaderboard, Djokovic produced the full array of shots that left the crowd breathless at times.

From exquisite drops to sublime volleying and even one incredible airborne backhand down-the-line winner, Djokovic was in full control.

"I must say I was quite pleased, the way I've raised my level in two days. It was really, really high-quality," Djokovic said after needing exactly 2 hours to underline his credentials as the tournament's hot favourite.

Djokovic rejected one suggestion that he played with extra intensity out of some sort of revenge for being deported from Australia on the eve of the Melbourne Park major in January.

Novak Djokovic reaches to his right to get his racquet to the ball for a forehand return, as the crowd watches behind him.Novak Djokovic reaches to his right to get his racquet to the ball for a forehand return, as the crowd watches behind him.
Novak Djokovic was in brilliant form as he took care of Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets at Wimbledon.(Getty Images: Shi Tang)

"I don't have any grudge over anybody really coming from Australia," he said.

"I did not have any extra intensity or desire to win this match just because Thanasi is Australian.

"Actually, in contrary, I really have a good relationship with Thanasi. I felt there was a lot of respect today."

The top seed will play compatriot Miomir Kecmanović next on Saturday for a place in the second week at Wimbledon for a 14th time.

While Djokovic marches on, Kokkinakis will turn his attention to doubles with embattled countryman Nick Kyrgios.

The reigning Australian Open champions had their scheduled first-round clash with Aljaz Bedene and Kwon Soon-woo postponed from Wednesday to Thursday.

But fans of the Special Ks should not hold their breath expecting another big run, with neither Kokkinakis, who is still recovering from a knee injury, or Kyrgios keen on the format used at the All England Club.

Nick Kyrgios points and puts his other hand around Thanasi Kokkinakis who is holding the Australian Open men's doubles trophy.Nick Kyrgios points and puts his other hand around Thanasi Kokkinakis who is holding the Australian Open men's doubles trophy.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios are not expected to repeat their Australian Open win, with Wimbledon doubles matches the best of five sets.(Getty Images: TPN)

"Five sets, not ideal," Kokkinakis said.

"I don't know, I should be good to go. At least I'm only serving once in every four games.

"Yeah, it should be a bit easier than playing Novak, I hope."

Kyrgios is even more against it, declaring on Wimbledon eve that best-of-five sets for doubles was "the stupidest thing ever".

"I'm also dreading the fact that if it's one-set all, I'm going to have to be playing three more sets of doubles. So I don't know," he said.

"I've always gone pretty well here in singles, so I'm not going to on my off day play potentially five sets of doubles."

After needing five sets to see off British wildcard Paul Jubb in the first round, Kyrgios resumes his singles campaign on Thursday against Serbian 26th seed Filip Krajinović.

Five of Kyrgios's compatriots are also in second-round action on day four.

Jordan Thompson takes on fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, with the winner to potentially play Kyrgios for a place in the second week.

Aussie number one Alex de Minaur meets rising Briton Jack Draper, while Jason Kubler faces fellow qualifier Dennis Novak, looking to make the third round of a grand slam for the first time.

And Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia's last hope in the women's singles, is up against American qualifier Catherine Harrison.


Posted 9h ago9 hours agoWed 29 Jun 2022 at 2:51pm, updated 3h ago3 hours agoWed 29 Jun 2022 at 9:15pm

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