Djokovic finds his footing to avoid Nadal aftershock

 

Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic managed what Rafael Nadal could not. He pulled himself together after feeling the ground shift beneath his feet against a citizen of the Czech Republic on Centre Court. The loss of the first set to Radek Stepanek had organisers checking the Richter Scale to determine the strength of the Rafa aftershocks. Stepanek had after all taken the No 1 seed to five sets at the US Open five years ago.

Djokovic restored the natural order of things with a gear change triggered by a break of serve early in the second set. In the end, only bewilderment at the closing of the roof on a sunny day gave him pause for thought. Once the 1,000-tonne structure is rolled out, the rules do not allow its withdrawal until the match is over. It is no easy business chasing Djokovic around court, even in efficient rather than exhilarating mode. The winning margin, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 told how straightforward this engagement was in the end.

So at home was he under the roof that Djokovic had time to contribute to the highlights package, launching his racket across the court in a vain attempt to intercept a Stepanek winner. It is in moments like this that "relationships" with the crowd are deepened. And thus did Djokovic make his move on the space left by Rafa. "It was very enjoyable. When you are playing this well you want to stay on court as long as possible. He played a terrific first set but I played the last three sets really well," Djokovic said.

"I was not too surprised how well he played in the opening set. I managed to make the break in the second and played well. Everybody knows that on any given day anyone in the top 100 can cause an upset. If it's their day and every serve goes in, they can win. It's a grand slam, Wimbledon. Players have nothing to lose and can go for everything. So I was pleased to play well and get the win."

Djokovic now turns his attention to golf. He has an empty weekend, save for practice, and intends to get the clubs out to help him relax. At least he won't have to contend with a roof. "I was a little surprised when I saw sunshine that the roof was closed. But those are the rules. It is exciting to play under the roof and I have done well the two times I have played under it but it is an outdoor tournament and I prefer to play outside."

The American Sam Querrey, a possible fourth-round opponent for Andy Murray, removed another seed from the bottom half of the draw, beating Milos Raonic 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone