Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic utterly ruthless as he takes down Bernard Tomic

Defending champion moves through to second week in serene fashion

Novak Djokovic reminded everyone just why he is the defending Wimbledon champion with an utterly ruthless victory over Australia’s Bernard Tomic to move into the last 16.

The Serb had been expecting a tough match against such a talented opponent but he produced another consummate performance, breezing through 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to throw down a marker as he heads into the second week.

Tomic, seeded 27, pushed Djokovic hard when they met here in 2011 but the world No 1 was in no mood to go deep, right on his game from the start. Tomic, whose unorthodox style and ability to change the pace can make him a tricky opponent, had no answer in the face of the Djokovic brilliance and last year’s winner will go into week two high on confidence.

“It’s been great so far,” said Djokovic, who now plays South Africa’s Kevin Anderson. “I was hoping that I could play better and better as the tournament progresses and that’s exactly what’s happening right now. I feel more confident on the court and in control of my baseline shots.”


Every part of Djokovic’s game was working nicely, including his serve, which yielded 15 aces, keeping Tomic pinned behind the baseline throughout. “It was very good to get some free points, because that takes the pressure off your back,” Djokovic said.

The first two sets were a procession and then when Tomic had a glimmer of hope, at 0-40 on the Serb’s serve in the first game of the third set, he shut the door immediately and one break was enough to give him victory.

“I’m really pleased the way I’m playing,” he said. “Hopefully in the second week I can play better and better.”

Nick Kyrgios's one-man spectacular, equal parts performance art and top-notch tennis will run on into the second week after his victory over Milos Raonic, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

For the first time this week, Kyrgios managed to get through a match without rowing with the umpire. In fact he made a point of showing an almost excessive deference, brushing the dust from the umpire's jacket at the coin toss. But Kyrgios did show off his repertoire of laughs, curses, racket tosses and, better yet, astonishing serves and fine forehand winners. He will now play Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

Raonic and Kyrgios, the one wearing a single white sleeve on his left arm, and the other one on the right, made for a study in contrasts. While Raonic finished the game with hardly a hair out of place, having shown no more emotion than an occasional frown, Kyrgios ran through the a gamut of wild highs and desperate lows, letting out great howls of frustration when he missed, and shouts of joy when he hit a winner. At times he teased Raonic, for playing shots with his eyes shut, and at others he saluted him, saying over-and-again “yeah, well played!” when he saw something he admired.

In the first set it seemed as though Raonic’s consistency was going to win out. At the crucial moment, Kyrgios lost the run of himself. In the final game he sent down a series of wild serves, including a couple of double faults, and allowed Raonic an easy break.

By the middle of the second set, Kyrgios seemed to have fallen into deep despair. At one point he told a spectator off for laughing at him, and at another he smashed his racket so hard into the ground so hard that it bounced three rows back into the grandstand. He even took up a position 12ft back from the baseline, right on the toes of the ballboy, to receive Raonic’s serve. Shortly after, he tried to win a point with a volley played from between his legs.

Somewhere in among all this, something in Kyrgios clicked. He actually said he was helped by some good advice from a random member of the crowd, a man wearing a Batman T-shirt who kept calling out “hit a bullet Nick!”.

Kyrgios squandered three break points in one game, but took his chance when he had three more soon after. Then he closed out the set with four straight aces. In fact, he outgunned Raonic all match long, hitting 34 aces to 18. He took the third set on a tie-break and by the fourth he was in complete control. It was, he said, a measure of revenge for last year, when Raonic beat him here in the quarter-finals.

Gasquet strutted like it was 2005 and he was still the most talented teenager in the world, gliding into the second week of Wimbledon for the first time since 2012 with a surprisingly serene victory over Grigor Dimitrov, who needs a serious rethink about a game which is unravelling at an alarming rate.

Dimitrov cut a forlorn figure for much of the hour and 56 minutes he was on Centre Court, searching in vain for the level which brought him what ought to have been his breakout victory here last year, that humiliation of Andy Murray in their quarter-final, and offering anything resembling resistance only when Gasquet served for the match. The manner of his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 defeat should serve as a wake-up call for Dimitrov, who has failed to build on that win over Murray.

Gasquet, who has been troubled by a back injury this year, may see something of himself in Dimitrov. The world No 20 has never lived up to the rich potential of his early years and at 29 the chances of him winning a first Major are slim. Yet he was impressive against Dimitrov and he will be confident of gaining revenge in the fourth round against Kyrgios, his conqueror here last year.

(Guardian service)