Elite seeds Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have beaten the heat with sizzling wins into the third round as Wimbledon endured the highest temperatures ever recorded at the All England Club.
Despite a 35.7 Celsius day on Wednesday, it was business as usual for toughened pros, most of whom would barely notice what in Britain is inevitably labelled as a dramatic heatwave.
Defending champion Djokovic reached the third round as he ended the Wimbledon career of 2006 finalist Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-2 6-3.
The good-natured match was the last at the tournament for the Finn, who will retire at the end of the season.
French Open champion Wawrinka, seeded fourth, had to save a pair of break points in the final game in his 6-3 6-4 7-5 dispatch of Victor Estrella Burgos.
“It was not that hot, but I was happy to get through in three sets,” said the Swiss who has won two grand slam titles in the past 18 months.
Djokovic said that British worries about temperatures were not a problem for him.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought. People were talking about it and predicting really difficult conditions. But I didn’t find it as difficult as I thought it might be,” said the Serb who next faces Australian Bernard Tomic.
Djokovic hailed the 33-year-old Nieminen as one of the nice guys in the game.
“When I was coming into professional tennis as an 18-year-old, I played a Challenger in Helsinki, that’s where I met him the first time,” he said.
“Ever since then he’s been very kind to me. He’s one of the nicest guys on the tour that I know on the court and off the court.”
But the winner didn’t let emotion get in the way of success after losing serve in the opening game.
“It was a very solid performance. I did well in all three sets, Jarkko came out firing, he had four winners in the first game.
“I was a break down from the start but I regrouped and played good tennis to get control. It was good to spend less time on the court, I’m glad with way I’m playing.”
Santiago Giraldo advanced as fifth seed Kei Nishikova withdrew before their match with a calf injury, while Milos Raonic put down German Tommy Haas 6-0 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4).
Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilia survived a scare from Ricardas Berankis before defeating the Lithuanian 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 7-5.
Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov beat Steve Johnson 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-2).
Kevin Anderson, seeded 14th, held off Turk Marsel Ilhan 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-4 while 16th seed battered Brit Liam Broady 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 6-1.