WIMBLEDON 2016: DJOKOVIC BEATS JAMES WARD
Both Roger Federer and defending champion, Novak Djokovic both progressed to the next phase in Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic beat Briton James Ward 6-0 7-6 6-4. While third seed Federer, troubled by injury problems this year, saw off Argentina’s Guido Pella 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Federer, without a Grand Slam victory since winning at SW19 in 2012, was below his best but still managed to beat the world number 52 in two hours and five minutes.
Seven-time champion Federer, who missed last month’s French Open because of a back injury, said it was “nice to be back. I felt great,” he told BBC Sport. “I’m so happy to be here. I have worked hard since February to be here and hoped not to miss Wimbledon and to be here fully fit so we will see if I am.”
The Swiss added he was “intrigued” by the progress of Briton Willis, the world number 772.
“It is what our sport needs, where guys come from nowhere,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
“We have had a hard time producing those players and I am really looking forward to playing him – couldn’t be more excited.”
On the first match on Centre Court, Djokovic – searching for his fourth SW19 title – took the first nine games but Ward fought back in the second set, finally getting on the scoreboard in the 10th game, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
James Ward – having lost the opening nine games of his match – sparked wild cheers when he finally won a game in the second set
“James was serving with a lot of precision and it was not easy to break his serve,” the 29-year-old said.
“There is not really not much to say about the first nine games – it was flawless.
“I felt great and nerves kicked in for James. He started playing better in the second set and it got close – it was solid performance from me though.
“This is probably the most unique experience in tennis, playing as the defending champion, on untouched grass. It is really special to feel this tradition.”