Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Wimbledon: Kerber advances as Federer and Djokovic's opponents retire

Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev Wimbledon: Kerber advances as Federer and Djokovic's opponents retire
Jan Ortega | 06 July, 2017, 00:10

Djokovic, 30, controlled the match with a 6-3 first set before Kližan retired in the second set.

Wimbledon is Federer's home from home.

However, Dolgopolov and Tipsarevic insisted that they were not playing just for money.

"If I win, I have a day off, maybe I will feel better on Thursday".

The 15,000-strong crowd drew a collective gasp as within the space of 70 minutes Martin Klizan and Alexandr Dolgopolov called it quits in their first round matches against Djokovic and Federer, respectively - leaving the Centre Court schedule done and dusted by 4:50 p.m. local time. Djokovic picked up his 234th match victory at all majors, moving ahead of Connors and alone into second place in history, behind only Federer's 315.

Federer, who took six months out in 2016 to recover from knee surgery before he returned to win the Australian Open in January and become the second-oldest man to win a Slam, said: "Sometimes you have to reset". The question always is, should they have started the match at all. "If something is tweaked here or there and you feel like you can give it a decent go without hurting yourself, I think they should stay out there and I think you owe it to the fans". 'I think the new rule that the ATP has reinforced allows players who deserve already, who have made it to the Grand Slam main draw, to get what they deserve, but at the other hand allow someone else to play if they can. "It's unfortunate that it happened today like this", he added.

The 24-year-old - who earned the nickname "Tomic the Tank Engine" for appearing to give up during matches - denied he had deliberately quit, but did appear to lose interest after dropping the first set and offered little resistance in going down 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in just 84 minutes. That equals 2008 for the most by men in the first round during the 50 editions of Wimbledon in the Open era. Only the player can answer really.

On each occasion the player who stepped onto the court and then retired pocketed £35,000.

Karen Khachanov
Wimbledon: Kerber advances as Federer and Djokovic's opponents retire

"I know the way he plays, he's the opposite of, let's say, Rafa on the court with the intensity level between points especially", Zverev said. But again, the first round loser walked off with £35,000 for barely an hours work. Konta is the first British woman to be ranked in the top 10 at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1984 and she showed few signs of nerves in despatching her opponent 6-2 6-2.

"A player should not go on court if he knows he should not finish". "I don't know who the first lucky loser was but he will have been looking out there and saying: 'I could have been playing on the Centre Court at Wimbledon'".

Djokovic said he backed the ATP rule being used at the Slams but also refused to criticise opponents who fail to finish. "He tried. For me obviously I'm very happy to be back and getting another win here is great news". Kerber the world number one, wasn't as dominant as one would expect of the current best player in the world, but she eased herself into the tournament and could well have gained the sort of momentum which is required if she is to make any further progress.

But it was the short men's matches that had everyone talking.

Isner said: "If it's just excruciating pain, okay, you can't play".

Djokovic said courtside: "I heard that he had issues even before walking on to the court".

It was the kind of trouble-free first round Djokovic would have been hoping for after the most turbulent period of his career, the 12-time major victor losing in the Australian Open second round and the French Open quarter-finals.

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