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Tennis

Djokovic survives scare to advance

Serbian moves into the third round with a four-set win, defending champions Murray also wins but Ferrer knocked out.

Last updated: 25 Jun 2014 19:50
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Djokovic is the top-seed at this year's event [REUTERS]

Novak Djokovic showed that Wimbledon was no place for a 35-year-old warrior as he beat battle-scarred Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4 6-3 6-7, 7-6 in a hugely entertaining contest to reach the third round of Wimbledon.

Bidding to become the oldest man to reach the third round at the All England Club since 2007, Stepanek tried practically every shot known to mankind, and then some, as he tried to topple the top seed.

His lunging forehands drew wild applause, his silky volleys had the purists purring and his crowd-pleasing shot-selection left fans hollering but all Stepanek had to show for his efforts was a bloodied right knee and the memories of a standing ovation.

"He's 35 years-old but he's moving very well and he performs really well on the big stage. He loves to engage the crowd, he's an entertainer," a hugely relieved Djokovic said after subduing his friend.

"It was fun from one side to be part of a great thrilling match but on the other side I should not have complicated my own life in this way. Credit to him for playing well on the important moments.

"Glad I hung in there mentally and managed to win the match."

Murray through

Elsewhere, defending champion Andy Murray dropped just two games and needed only 81 minutes to blow away Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, a dominant performance that showed he'll be tough to beat as he bids to become the first British player to retain the Wimbledon title in 78 years.

"If you can finish matches as quickly as possible it definitely helps in the long run,'' Murray said.

David Federer became the highest seeded men's player to go out so far. The Spanish clay-court specialist was beaten by Russia's 118th-ranked qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-7, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The loss ended Ferrer's streak of reaching at least the third round at 17 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. Kuznetsov, the boys' champion at Wimbledon in 2009, achieved his first win over a top-10 player.

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