Tennis - Djokovic
Battle of the Serbs: Novak Djokovic returns to Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in their men's singles third round match at the Wimbledon on Friday. Image Credit: AP

London: Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon fourth round for the 14th time on Friday with a straight-sets demolition of Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic.

Djokovic, looking to pull level with Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion, triumphed 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.

Friday’s win was the 330th of Djokovic’s Grand Slam career.

“So far, so good,” said the 35-year-old top seed, who has now reached the last 16 of a major for the 55th time.

“I expect high standards from myself. You always want to raise the level and things are shaping up well.”


Waiting in the fourth round will be Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven. On Friday, however, the 25-year-old buried all the painful memories as his dream Grand Slam debut continued with a straight-sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Ranked outside the top 250 at the start of the year, Van Rijthoven won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch grass-court title last month, defeating world number one Daniil Medvedev in the final.

It was his ATP main draw debut and that stunning success opened the door for the All England Club to award him a Wimbledon wild card.

It’s a scenario that would have appeared a distant dream over the past seven years.

Plagued by physical problems since he was 18, Van Rijthoven has endured groin and wrist injuries as well as back spasms. One surgery was required to cure a thrombosis in his arm.

John Isner, meanwhile, found his serving groove early in his match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner on Friday to set a new record for the number of aces on the ATP Tour.

The giant American, 37, started his match against the 10th seed four aces behind Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who has served 13,728.

Isner, who dumped Andy Murray out in the previous round, broke the record in the third game of his match on Court Two with his fifth ace.

Record-keeping began in 1991.

“It’s actually really cool,” Isner said ahead of Friday’s match, looking ahead to breaking the record.

“It’s something I’m really proud of. I will be the all-time leader. I’ll keep playing, keep adding to my total... I don’t know if (the record) will get broken. I could be up there for a long time.”

Isner, who stands six feet 10 inches (208 centimetres) tall, is also in the record books for taking part in the longest match in tennis history in 2010, against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

A plaque was unveiled outside Court 18 at Wimbledon to commemorate the contest, which lasted 11 hours and five minutes. ‘‘Give him another plaque,” US tennis great John McEnroe said on ESPN.