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Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla, Wimbledon 2021: live score and latest updates - PAUL GROVER

Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla, Wimbledon 2021: live score and latest updates – PAUL GROVER

03:24 PM

Djokovic 6-4, 2-1 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

A wonderful backhand winner from Kudla on the first point draws applause from Djokovic, which gives him confidence and he suddenly plays some wonderful ground strokes to give him three break points.

After a lengthy rally, Djokovic slips trying to play a backhand drop shot and it’s in the net. Kudla punches straight back, impressive stuff.

03:20 PM

Djokovic* 6-4, 2-0 Kudla (*denotes next server)

Kudla concedes the first two points with unforced errors to put himself behind the eight-ball. You sense that very late break has knocked the stuffing out of him slightly.

He then undercooks a drop shot into the net and Djokovic has two break points. The Serb knocks one into the net on the first, but Kudla forces a forehand wide after a long rally. He challenges but it is indeed wide and there’s back-to-back breaks for the world no.1

03:16 PM

Djokovic 6-4, 1-0 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

Kudla, undoubedtly disappointed, hits a couple of wayward shots and Djokovic takes the opening game to love on serve

03:11 PM


Kudla hits his first double fault of the day, the first blemish in a commanding serving performance. That gives Djokovic just a tiny sniff, and like the great champion he is, makes it count. He raves into a 40-15 lead and then forces a backhand long from Kudla and just like that he’s taken the opening set!

Harsh on Kudla, he played very well there

03:06 PM

Djokovic 5-4 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

Djokovic looks comfortable on his serve, and has begun attacking he net more as he seeks to change things up. He holds easily again, as we move slowly towards a tie break.

03:03 PM

Djokovic* 4-4 Kudla (*denotes next server)

Kudla continues to bang down the big serves, keeping Djokovic on the back foot at the start of the rallies. He’s looked very untroubled on serve so far and holds again to love

03:00 PM

Djokovic 4-3 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

A tasty backhand drop shot from Djokovic drops right on the line, wonderful shot. He holds comfortably. We are still without a break point to this point.

02:56 PM

Djokovic* 3-3 Kudla (*denotes next server)

Some intelligent shot selection from Kudla allows him to manouevre Djokovic round the court before timing an excellent drop shot.

He’s showing no fear here the American, Djokovic can’t get on top of his serve yet. A huge forehand winner down the line sees him hold.

02:52 PM

Djokovic 3-2 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

An early double fault from Djokovic evens things up at 15-15. Despite some early aces, Djokovic hasn’t found his range on his first serve yet.

Nonetheless, he holds without giving up a break point.

02:49 PM

Djokovic* 2-2 Kudla (*denotes next server)

Kudla looks to use the drop shot and attack the net. He plays one too deep, but an on-rushing Djokovic sends his lob wide. When at the base line, Kudla looks happy to trade ground stokes with the world no.1 and pushes him side to side, using the angles well. An ace gets him up to 40-0, before an unforced error from Djokovic allows the rank outsider to hold to love.

Good start from the American.

02:45 PM

Djokovic 2-1 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

An early unforced error from Djokovic on his backhand puts him behind in the game early, but he bounces back strongly with an ace, his third already.

Kudla is looking for real depth on his ground strokes in the rallies, but overcooks a couple and Djokovic holds.

02:41 PM

Djokovic* 1-1 Kudla (*denotes next server)

Kudla booms down a 125mph serve to kick things off that isn’t coming back. A delightful backhand slice drop-shot from Djokovic even things up at 15-15. Kudla continues angling his serves down the line and doesn’t look the least bit nervous. Good opening hold

02:38 PM

Djokovic 1-0 Kudla* (*denotes next server)

Djokovic comfortably holds serve to begin, with a pair of aces helping him along his way against the American qualifier

02:37 PM

Djokovic vs Kudla gets underway

The players are out on the court, Djokovic to serve first

02:36 PM

Roger Federer shows flashes of old brilliance in straight-sets win to set up match against Cameron Norrie

No-one had expected to hear understated British No.2 Cameron Norrie lay down the gauntlet to Wimbledon legend Roger Federer on Thursday afternoon. But then, that’s what a microphone and 7,500 patriotic fans can do to you.

Speaking to Rishi Persad in his on-court interview after romping past Alex Bolt in just 95 minutes, Norrie talked up his chances in what will be a much-anticipated third-round match. “If it’s a time to play Roger, now’s probably the best time, I guess,” said Norrie of the 39-year-old former champion. “He’s still a decent player though. He can still play!’

Is Federer fading? You might have thought so if you had tuned in for the first half-hour of his meeting with old foe Richard Gasquet on Thursday evening. He began in the same faltering form we saw in his previous outing against Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday, which had been looking ominous until Mannarino slipped and sprained his knee while leading by two sets to one.

And then? As Federer moved towards a first-set tie-break against Gasquet, the gramophone needle entered the groove. Instead of the squeaks and squawks of an untuned instrument – which is what we had witnessed throughout the first nine games – a beautiful melody began to play.

Suddenly Federer was committing whole-heartedly to his strokes, which skimmed low over the net while still finding an unerring depth and accuracy. He was moving with growing certainty – apart from a couple of inelegant stumbles on a court that remains dangerously slick – and constructing points as efficiently as a Lego maniac with a new kit.

You can read Simon Briggs’ report from yesterday’s match in full here.

02:33 PM

The fashion verdict on the Royal family’s best ever Wimbledon outfits

From Princess Marina of Kent to Princess Diana, Wimbledon is a summer sporting event at which the royals sartorially excel.

Our fashion and style team have run the rule over what we’ve seen so far, as well as digging back through the archives for some all-time classic attire.

You can read their thoughts in full here.

12:09 PM

Novak on a roll

Novak Djokovic believes his experience at Wimbledon in 2016 will keep him focused ahead of a third-round meeting with Denis Kudla.

The world number one negotiated a tricky second match with Kevin Anderson on Tuesday to stay on course for a potential Golden Slam.

After triumphing in Australia at the start of 2021 and at Roland Garros in June, Djokovic can still emulate Steffi Graf in 1988 when she won all four majors and the Olympics – a feat yet to be repeated.

But the 34-year-old has been here before – five years ago – and saw the dream ended by a shock third-round exit to Sam Querrey back on that occasion.

“I want to learn from that experience in 2016, winning the first two slams of the year and coming into Wimbledon playing great and feeling great,” Djokovic said.

“I just felt a little bit different, a little deflated. I don’t want to say demotivated because playing Wimbledon is always a dream. But I felt slightly different to how I had felt before and it was the first time I had experienced that situation and circumstances.

“This time probably I would like to think I am a bit wiser and more experienced as a player and person. It helps and I am now in the third round but it has only been two matches in the tournament and still a long way to go.

“Hopefully I can go very deep, that is the goal but I am very pleased with the way I have been playing so far.”

He is certainly the overwhelming favourite today against American qualifier Denis Kudla, a tour veteran ranked 114th. The first time Kudla played Djokovic was at Wimbledon two years ago, and he swiftly lost in just 93 minutes.

Kudla does not overwhelm opponents with jaw-dropping shotmaking. But he adjusts well to a grass court’s low bounces and manouevres the ball around the court to make things difficult for those across the net. The American also has an experienced grass-court player on his team in coach Robert Lindstedt, who made the Wimbledon doubles final in three consecutive years (2010-12).