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Djokovic Wins Under Centre Court's Roof; Rain Frustrates On Outside Courts

Wimbledon, England

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic is the only former Wimbledon champion left in the draw.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat qualifier Bobby Reynolds 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday, under a closed Centre Court roof, at The Championships. Play was abandoned on the outside courts at 7:06 p.m. local time due to rain.

Djokovic will next play either No. 28 seed Jeremy Chardy or qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round. Struff was leading Chardy 2-6, 7-5, 2-1.

"I think the fact that the top players lost in the last few days gives enough reason for all of us to not underestimate any opponent and not look that far," said Djokovic. "So we got to take it step by step. It's sport, you know. This is what happens. Everybody, especially lower ranked players in the opening rounds, have nothing to lose really when they go on the center stage and they come up with their best game."

Reynolds, who admitted he was nervous prior to his Centre Court debut, defended with valour in the first set, saving four break points en route to a tie-break. But 2011 champion Djokovic remained aggressive to win the first five points and sealed the set in 52 minutes. 

Djokovic grew in confidence in the second set. The top seed won 91 per cent of his first service points and hit 13 winners. He converted two of his nine break point opportunities, including in the final game.

Despite Reynolds’ best efforts to fight back, Djokovic took a 3-0 lead in the third set and completed a drama-free victory for his 35th match win of the season (35-5 overall). The match lasted one hour and 54 minutes.

"I was serving well throughout the whole match," said Djokovic. "Still haven't dropped my serve, which is an encouraging fact. Credit to my opponent today for playing well when he was break points down. But I had a poor realisation of my break point opportunities today. Hopefully that's going to get better in the next matches. But overall performance was good."

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With Reynolds' exit, it marks the first time since 1912 that no American man has reached the Wimbledon third round. Eleven Americans started in the main draw.

"He's not No. 1 in the world for nothing," said Reynolds. "He's a great player. I went out there and I knew obviously it was going to be tough. I played like how I usually play. I just gave it my all and leave it all out there. If it's not good enough, it's not."

Djokovic is the only former Wimbledon champion left in the draw, following second round exits for seven-time titlist Roger Federer and 2002 winner Lleyton Hewitt on Wednesday. Rafael Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, lost in the first round on Monday.

In the same quarter of the draw, last week’s Aegon International titlist Feliciano Lopez advanced when Paul-Henri Mathieu retired due to a neck injury towards the end of the second set. Lopez was leading 6-3, 5-1.

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Earlier in the day, World No. 64 Igor Sijsling reached the third round of a major championship for the first time as he upset No. 17 seed Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(4) in just over two hours. The Dutchman countered Raonic’s 22 aces with 17 of his own and committed just seven unforced errors. It is the third straight year that Raonic has lost in the second round.

The 25-year-old Sijsling goes on to face Ivan Dodig, who defeated Denis Kudla 6-1, 7-6(4), 7-5. World No. 49 Dodig is coming off a semi-final showing in Eastbourne (l. to Lopez) and is bidding to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time. He will play Sijsling for the first time.

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