Novak Djokovic had to play all three sets at Wimbledon this time. The three-time champion advanced to the third round by beating Adam Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 Thursday, two days after his opening match ended early when his opponent retired with an injury.
Djokovic won the Wimbledon title in 2011, ’14 and ’15. But he has not won a major title since completing a career Grand Slam at the 2016 French Open.
In his opening two matches at the All England Club, Djokovic has only lost eight games.
“It’s perfect. Exactly what I want,” Djokovic said. “I don’t want to have any five-set matches in there.”
Djokovic will next face Ernests Gulbis. The unseeded Latvian defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Roger Federer and Angelique Kerber were scheduled to play later on Day 4 at Wimbledon.
Federer, a seven-time champion at the All England Club, will play on Centre Court against Dusan Lajovic in the second round. The top-ranked Kerber will face Kirsten Flipkens on No. 1 Court.
Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, Gael Monfils and David Ferrer also reached the third round. Ferrer advanced when opponent Steve Darcis retired with an injury while trailing 3-0.
Darcis is the eighth man to retire during a match this week. The Belgian took a medical timeout after 18 minutes of play and was unable to continue.
One of the favourites in the women’s tournament, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova, lost on Centre Court. Magdalena Rybarikova beat Pliskova 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the third round for the second time in 10 appearances.
Pliskova entered the tournament with a chance to take over the No. 1 ranking.
Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded seventh, advanced to the third round along with ninth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 14th-seeded Garbine Muguruza and 24th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe.
Also, American wild-card entry Bethanie Mattek-Sands injured her right knee during a point and retired from her second-round match.
Moving up toward the net in the opening game of the third set against Sorana Cirstea of Romania, Mattek-Sands slipped and fell. She immediately clutched her right knee. She could be heard screaming in pain and sobbing.
Two players previously eliminated from the tournament were handed fines on Thursday.
Bernard Tomic of Australia was fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct two days after he spoke about feeling “a little bit bored out there” during his match.
Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who threw a handful coins in the direction of the chair umpire after a second-round loss on Wednesday, was given three fines totalling $14,500.