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“He was the only one playing” Thanasi Kokkinakis backs ‘wall’ Novak Djokovic to win the 2022 Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic gets lauded by his second-round opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis who had no answers for the Serbian in their duel at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

Novak Djokovic and Thanasi Kokkinakis

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic took on World No. 79 Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of the ongoing 2022 Wimbledon Championships as the Serbian looks to win his 4th consecutive title at the All-England Club. As many expected, Thanasi was no match for Novak as the Serbian won the match 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours to extend his winning streak to 23 consecutive matches at the Grand Slam.

It was a rampant and dominant performance by Novak who was tested by the Australian only in the second set. While Novak remained in total control of the match, there were hardly a few points where Thanasi looked to challenge the defending champion. It was the second meeting between the two players and Thanasi is yet to win a set against the Serbian having earlier met him in the third round of the 2015 French Open where Novak won in straight-sets on his way to a runners-up finish at the Grand Slam.

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“I don’t think he can lose”: Thanasi Kokkinakis on Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Thanasi Kokkinakis

Thanasi had anticipated a match of this standard prior to coming on the court but the manner in which he was ousted by Djokovic was a bit surprising for him. In his post-match press conference, Thanasi had nothing but praise for the 20-time Grand Slam champion and hoped that he is the one who lifts the Wimbledon trophy on the 10th of July.

“If he plays like that, I don’t think he can lose. And I hope he doesn’t [lose] because if there is someone capable of playing better tennis than Novak did today, that leaves me even further from the elite. I hope he played to the maximum because if he can turn up the intensity, even more, I don’t know where that leaves me.

“He just did everything perfectly, he guessed all my shots and he was like a wall. Tactically, he ran me over. He’s gone over me, it’s like he’s the only one playing today, it was frustrating. It had been a long time since I faced someone who could play at this level. I tried to overwhelm him with my first shot, but he responded very easily, he forced me to move around the court continuously, it was too good for me,” said Kokkinakis.

Novak will now take on compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the third round as he looks to inch closer to his 7th Wimbledon title that will tie him with his childhood idol Pete Sampras and see him move ahead of Roger Federer in the race for most majors.

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