On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live

Sport Tennis Wimbledon

Issued on • Modified

Federer and Djokovic advance as Gulbis upsets Del Potro

Novak Djokovic is seeking a fourth title at Wimbledon. Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Second seed Novak Djokovic and third seed Roger Federer advanced to the last 32 at Wimbledon on Thursday. The former world numbers ones both enjoyed straight sets victories over unheralded opponents. Djokovic, 30, dismissed Adam Pavlasek 6-2 6-2 6-1 in 94 minutes on Court 1.

Federer, 35, who is attempting to become the oldest man to win the title in south-west London, laboured at the outset against his Serbian opponent Dusan Lajovic on Centre Court.

But after winning the first set tiebreak, the Swiss seven-time champion surged away 6-3 6-2 to wrap up the encounter.

"I struggled at the start and couldn't find my rhythm," said Federer, who dropped his first service game to trail 0-2 to his 79th-ranked opponent. "But once I got rid of the nerves I played some inspired stuff."

Federer next faces Mischa Zverev from Germany who has never beaten him in four attempts.

Djokovic is seeking a fourth title at Wimbledon and was rarely ruffled by his 136th ranked opponent in temperatures that reached 31°C.

"It was a very warm day," said the Serb. "It wasn't easy to play point after point and some long rallies."

Djokovic to face Gulbis

A tricky tie looms for the 12-time Grand Slam champion. He will pit his wits against the mercurial Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who saw off the 29th seed Juan Martin del Potro 6-4- 6-4 7-6 in nearly three hours.

Gulbis had only won three matches on the tour before the second round match. The former world number 10 has dropped more than 570 places following several injury hit seasons.

"It's a long story," said the 28-year-old. "I had two muscle tears, one in the calf, one in the abdomen. I went to Roland Garros ... but if you're not top shape, you don't have a chance. Then I went to a Challenger tournament in the Czech Republic. I tore my abdominal muscle in the first round. This has been the story this season."

But, to Del Potro's dismay, Gulbis was in rude health as he produced 60 winners to emulate the form that took him past Federer and Tomas Berdych on his way to the semi-final at the French Open in 2014.

"I know how good Ernests is on grass," lamented Del Potro. "And if he has a good day, he can beat all the guys, because he already done it in the past."