Novak Djokovic faces Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios’ doubles partner, on Centre Court this afternoon to determine who will advance to the Wimbledon third round. While it is fairly run-of-the-mill stuff for the Serb, it is uncharted territory for the latter who is appearing in round two for the first time at SW19.
Djokovic is gunning for a seventh title at Wimbledon, and a 21st Grand Slam that would leave him just one behind Rafael Nadal in the all-time charts. As such, he is unlikely to be intimidated by Kokkinakis, who has never been ranked inside the men’s top 50 despite a well-publicised doubles title alongside Kyrgios at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Kokkinakis was impressive in the first round, beating Kamil Majchrzak in straight sets to set up his date with the top seed. Djokovic’s route was not so smooth, dropping the second set against Kwon Soon-woo before romping to a four-sets victory.
As has become par for the course with Djokovic, his Wimbledon campaign is not solely about matters on the court as questions on his Covid vaccine stance continue to pour in. The Serb remains unmoved, however, and will shift attention strictly towards tennis matters on Wednesday afternoon.
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