Djokovic takes on Pavlasek



Originally published on 05/07/17 00:00

Bagging his first piece of silverware since January was a timely-boost for the former world No.1 and he appears to be more focused and composed in London than he did in Paris.

The Serbian might have been on the periphery for much of this season, but he has his eyes firmly on the prize. "I always try to have that mindset that I am fighting for the trophy, just like everyone else," said Djokovic. "Tennis is a sport that allows you to have this opportunity over and over again, literally every other week.

“The source of my motivation is love and passion for this sport. As long as that's there, then everything else seems easier and more natural."

The Serbian, will take on world No.136, Adam Pavlasek, in the first match of the day on No.1 Court.

Five matches to watch

Gael Monfils (FRA) [15] v Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Edmund and Monfils are very different personalities, but they would both agree that grass is their weakest surface.

The British No.2 defeated Alexander Ward to secure his first ever win at Wimbledon at the fifth attempt but he remains uneasy on the pristine lawns in SW19. The Yorkshireman is not expected to oust the enigmatic Frenchman but he may be inspired by the Centre Court faithful.

Monfils reached his first ever grass-court final in Eastbourne last week and he began his Wimbledon campaign with a trouble-free victory over Daniel Brands. He is capable of the spectacular but it was steady play that took him to the championship match on the South Coast.

Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v [29] v Ernests Gulbis (LAT)

Gulbis, who reached the French Open semi-finals in 2014, has been in the wilderness for the last few years. The attack-minded Latvian has considerable firepower but issues with his unconventional forehand contributed to his dramatic slide down the rankings.

 Del Potro has won three of five previous meetings with Gulbis however he is not contemplating a third round showdown with Djokovic just yet.

"Everybody knows how good Ernests is on this surface,” said the former US Open winner. “If he has a good day, he can beat all the guys on tour. I have to be focused on my job and deal with my serve and forehand. If he gives me a little chance to break serve, I will try to take it."

Frances Tiafoe (USA) v Alexander Zverev (GER) [10]

This will likely be a match-up that's repeated frequently in the next 10 years.

Zverev has emerged as the leader of his generation and his Rome Masters success showed his fellow young guns what can be achieved. The German – who reached the final of Halle two weeks ago – is still pushing for a significant breakthrough at a Grand Slam.

Tiafoe, a 19-year-old American, continues to make steady progress and he claimed his first Wimbledon victory by defeating Robin Haase 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) 7-5. He is a wonderful athlete with a likeable personality, and he has a prosperous future ahead of him.

Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) v Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [5]

Few players would relish the prospect of challenging Pironkova at Wimbledon.

The Bulgarian reached the semi-finals of the All England Club in 2010 – beating Venus William en route – but her recent results in London have been disappointing. This is the first time she has been beyond the opening round in four years but the Dane will still be wary.

Wozniacki appeared agitated in her win over Timea Babos however she showed good grit and determination to survive an early scare. The former world No.1 will be encouraged by her record against Pironkova, though, as she has won all four previous encounters.

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)

This match-up has the potential to be interesting due to the contrasting styles.

Cirstea is a baseliner with unforgiving groundstrokes while Mattek-Sands performs with guile and subtlety. The American – an excellent doubles player – is not afraid to advance forward and she will view this as a real opportunity to reach the third round for a second year in succession. 


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