Djokovic fries Fish on Centre Court once more
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:37
Novak Djokovic, the quiet man among the top seeds, let his racket do the talking as he produced a comprehensive display to dispatch Mardy Fish in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-4.
The world No.4, eliminated in the second round by Marat Safin in 2008, reminded the Centre Court crowd that his Australian Open victory was no fluke as he booked a last 16 matchup with Dudi Sela.
Djokovic was on the front foot from the off, picking off the serve-volleyer Fish with ease and eventually breaking at the fifth attempt in game seven.
It was all the Serbain needed to seal the first set, before he looked to be running away with the second as Fish struggled in the face of the setting sun behind Centre Court.
But Fish provided a timely reminder of why serve and volleyers used to thrive on grass, pulling off a string of upcourt plays to pull a break back and reach 4-3. It wasn’t enough, however, and Djokovic regained his composure to settle another set by a single break.
Fish, who has still never gone beyond the third round and never won on Centre Court before, looked set to suffer the same fate again when the third set followed the pattern of the first.
The world No.4 broke in game seven again, and served out the match, sealing the win in just under two hours when Fish returned wide.
Djokovic was rightly pleased with what he regarded as the greatest performance of his career at the All England Club.
“Today I performed the best match so far in Wimbledon, which is really encouraging for the remainder of the tournament,” he said. “The more matches I play, I seem to be playing better, which is always a positive fact.
“I was saying prior to the match that return is probably one of the key elements in the game against Mardy. And I think I did well with that.
“I was always making him play an extra shot, which he obviously doesn’t like. He has a big serve and he gets a lot of free points on the serve. But since I returned so well, he was having a lot of ups and downs and a very low first serve percentage in.”