Millennium Post

Djokovic on cruise control mode

Djokovic on cruise control mode

Wimbledon: Green grass, blue sky, cool wind in the air. Well, these are not lines from a song, but the atmosphere at the Centre Court in Wimbedon where top seed Novak Djokovic breezed through to the fourth round on Friday.

The straight-set win for Djokovic against Miomir Kecmanovic (6-0, 6-3, 6-4) in clinical fashion had the packed arena cheer most of the way for the sturdy Serbian.

This has been an average year for Djokovic, given the lofty standards he has set for himself in his career. Thrown out of Melbourne at the Australian Open in January, after the visa cancellation row, following his refusal not to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, Djokovic has faced many hard, emotional battles.

While his refusal to even now take the jab is baffling, he was in for a shock at the French Open where GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Rafael Nadal, crowned himself champion on clay for the 14th time.

Out here in the Mecca of Tennis, Djokovic is the favourite. Yet, he knows there are no free points to be won or free matches to seal as he played with precision, punch and poise against his fellow Serbian opponent.

From the time Djokovic entered the arena, the atmosphere was electrifying. The camera motors were whirring, cell phones clicking pictures non-stop, as each spectator wanted to grab an image of the man who aspires to win Wimbledon again.

There was little hesitancy in Djokovic's game against an opponent, who he swished away like a fly. The tapestry of tennis which the top seed produced was heady. A strong hard, flat, serve, movement on court with gazelle-like grace and hitting groundies with panache, Djokovic transported the audience to an incredible highs.

For the thousands of spectators lucky to get inside the arena, there were thousands of other unlucky ones who had to watch the match on the giant screen at Henman Hill. Worse, for those who line up outside the gates of Wimbledon each year, they had to hear the oohs and aahs as Djokovic played sublime tennis in the first set. Was this the best which Djokovic was playing at? No, he is capable of producing even more hard tennis, with the occasional serve not functioning as well as he would have liked to.

Poor Kecmanovic, despite the mild cheering he received, he could not match Djokovic any which way, be it in stroke-production or retrievals against the strong man.

In the second set, Kecmanovic did try and raise the level of his game. Up against a mountain like Djokovic, he could only try. But then, Djokovic gave him no free points.

In the decider, Kecmanovic fought as well as he could. There were few in the stands cheering for the underdog. However, Kecmanovic needed to produce tennis of a different type to beat Djokovic. To say this was more like a practice match for Djokovic to prepare for the harder battles ahead would not be an exaggeration.

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