Champion Djokovic sweeps past Mannarino

Novak Djokovic brushed past France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) on Wednesday to book his place in the third round of Wimbledon.

The defending champion, aiming for his third consecutive title, played well within himself and was rarely troubled during the second-round match.

Mannarino, ranked 55, put up spirited resistance in the third set to force a tiebreak but was ultimately swept off Centre Court by the Serbian’s laser-guided groundstrokes.

World No.1 Djokovic holds all four grand slam titles and has another historic mark in his sights.

The 29-year-old is aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to achieve the calendar Grand Slam – winning the four majors in a single season.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tomas Berdych beat unseeded Croatian Ivan Dodig 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-1 7-6 (7-2).

Berdych, who had led 4-1 in the fourth set when play was called off on Tuesday because of rain, served for the match at 5-3 and looked in a desperate hurry to finish things off.

But in damp windy conditions that gradually turned to steady drizzle and forced play to be called off on all outside courts, Dodig broke serve and saved two match points before taking the set to a tiebreak.

Berdych, runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the All England Club in 2010 and contesting his 52nd consecutive grand slam, steadied his nerves to take the breaker 7-2 when he forced a backhand error from Dodig.

“First of all, I should have been done (with the match) already yesterday,” he said afterwards.

“But … especially when my opponents finished yesterday, I think it’s really good that we were able to finish the match.”

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