Djokovic lining up next week for four in a row

Defending Wimbledon champion has won last three championships

It doesn’t always. But this time it did. Zero, three and four said much of what needed to be said about Novak Djokovic’s grass court engine purring into the second week. The Serb faced another Serb in Miomir Kecmanovic, seeded 25, winning 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, as always on Centre Court.

As the details suggest it was one seamless Serb pushing off from where he left off in the last round, growing into this competition and setting markers as he goes. The 35-year-old defending champion also continued his trend of not dropping a set.

After taking the first without cost, Kecmanovic shook himself out of the stage fright and managed some resistance in the second set as he trailed 4-3 on serve. However, a costly slip on break point allowed Djokovic to serve for the set. It finally took an exquisite lob to grab a two-set lead after just 68 minutes.

There were really no speed bumps of significance for Djokovic. He broke service twice in the third set to open a 5-2 lead and from there on it was processional despite the first wobble on his own delivery as Kecmanovic rallied from 0-30 to delay the inevitable.

Seventh Wimbledon title

The respite from falling out of the draw was brief for Kecmanovic, and at 5-4, the favourite served out the match to seal his 330th win in a Grand Slam match and take step towards his seventh Wimbledon title.

“I started off very, very well with good intensity and focus,” said Djokovic. Asked about his landmark win means to him, he replied: “It means that I’ve been playing for quite a few years. Which I’m very grateful for and I feel blessed to still be able to compete at the highest level.”

Djokovic, who has won the last three Wimbledon championships, will face Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven in round four. But Rijthoven has insisted he holds no fear. “I go into every match thinking I can win the match,” he said. “Also against Djokovic, I’ll go into that match thinking I can win.”

The 6ft 10in American John Isner, who dumped Andy Murray out of this year’s draw, hit ace number 13,729 against Jannik Sinner to break the ATP tour record held by Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. Isner set the record during the third game of his third-round match against Sinner. Officials have said that’s the most since the tour began tracking aces in 1991.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times