Day three of play at the All England Club featured the two biggest stars of the men’s game: world number one Novak Djokovic and seven-time champion Roger Federer. And both got the job done against low-ranked opposition.
Novak Djokovic cruised to his thirtieth grand slam match win on the trot on Wednesday, the third longest streak in the history of the men’s game, with a straight-sets victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino.
The Joker, as he’s known, got breaks of service to take the first two sets. Mannarino came back to break Djokovic when he was serving for the third set, forcing a tie-breaker. But Djokovic showed why many consider him unbeatable at the moment, winning the tie-breaker seven points to five and walking away with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 victory.
Having won the Australian and French Opens, Djokovic is halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam. Rod Laver was the last man to accomplish one all the way back in 1969.
“I have to be very grateful to have the opportunity to make the history of the sport,” Djokovic told reporters. “Knowing that I won 30 in a row, it’s very pleasing. I want to keep on going. Let’s see where it takes me.”
One of the few men who could conceivably stop him, Roger Federer, got an easy 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Britain’s Marcus Willis, a qualifier ranked 772nd in the world.
“Marcus had nothing to lose,” said the Swiss tennis great after the match. “He could go out and enjoy himself and I thought he did that wonderfully.”
Willis basically agreed with Federer’s assessment.
“If I was playing well and competing with Roger for a couple of sets, I was doing well,” he said. “I’ve earned myself a beer now.”
On the women’s side, some of the top women overcame rain delays to win their first-round matches. Number three Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Katerina Koslowa of Ukraine 6:2, 6:1, while Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, at number 32, came from a set down to best Japan’s Nao Hibino 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
In the late afternoon, rain once again interrupted play on the outside courts.