Wimbledon men’s 3rd round day 5: Djokovic continues title defence


Novak Djokovic (6/5 tournament favourite with Coral) continues his defence of the Wimbledon title in dominant fashion, as he shows no signs of heartache from his French Open loss or rustiness from lack of grass court preparation.

The Serb (heavily odds-on at 1/25 for victory) came through potentially tricky tests against veterans and former quarter-finalists here at SW19 Philipp Kohlschreiber and Jarkko Nieminen with relative ease in straight sets.

Next, he takes on young Australian Bernard Tomic (9/1), whose career has not really taken off since reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2001. Incidentally, he lost to Djokovic that day in four sets, and the world number one is 11/4 to triumph 3-1 again, and thus have a 4-0 win record against the 22-year-old.

Elsewhere, the Serb’s French Open conqueror Stan Wawrinka (11/1 title chance) has also come through his first two rounds without dropping a set, and next faces big-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

The latter has actually won two of their three meetings, all coming on clay, although they last faced each other in 2012 and since then the Swiss has made a remarkable rise in the sport despite now being 30.

Double Grand Slam champion Wawrinka is the odds-on favourite to beat Verdasco (7/2), but is a more enticing 9/4 shout to triumph 3-1 too on his apparent least favoured surface.

Three young tournament outsiders are also in action on day five, as Grigor Dimitrov (50/1), Marin Cilic (45/1) and Milos Raonic (28/1) all take to the courts. They all face tough tests, though, against seeded opposition Richard Gasquet (6/5 to cause an upset and win), John Isner (5/4) and Nick Kyrgios (13/8) respectively.

There are three other matches in the men’s singles draw on Friday, as Marcos Baghdatis (13/8), who came back to triumph in five sets in the second round, takes on Liam Broady’s conqueror David Goffin (4/9).

American wildcard Denis Kudla (1/2) is up against Santiago Giraldo (6/4), who got a walkover a Kei Nishikori pulled out, while Leonardo Mayer (7/4) with Queen’s runner-up Kevin Anderson (2/5).

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