Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning against Jordan Thompson of Australia during their men’s singles tennis match on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2023. | Photo Credit: AFP
Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek were on cruise control at Wimbledon on July 5, but confetti-throwing climate protesters and rain delays caused more headaches at the All England Club.
Djokovic, bidding for a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon men’s title and 24th Grand Slam crown, defeated Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.
This is the 36-year-old’s 350th Grand Slam singles win, third only to Roger Federer and Serena Williams on the all-time list.
The victory also maintained his 10-year undefeated record on Center Court.
“We have a very romantic and special relationship, this court and I,” said Djokovic who will face old rival Stan Wawrinka in the third round.
While Djokovic and Swiatek have effortlessly moved into the last 32, there are still four first-round matches yet to begin.
They were four of the 21 matches canceled through Thursday due to rain.
The previous day, only eight links were completed as heavy rain lashed the All England Club.
On July 5, a new headache presented itself in the shape of the Just Stop Oil climate protesters.
Two activists, both in their 60s, ran onto Court 18 to scatter orange confetti and jigsaw pieces during Grigor Dimitrov’s match against Sho Shimabukuro.
“Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the grounds,” a Wimbledon spokesman said.
Hours later, Katie Boulter and Daria Saville’s match on the same court was halted when another protester repeated the confetti-jigsaw gesture to the taunts of frustrated fans.
Women’s top seed Swiatek defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the third round.
The reigning US Open and French Open champion has never gone beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon but has dropped just six games in this year’s tournament.
World number three Daniil Medvedev marked his return to Wimbledon after last year’s ban on Russian players with a first-round win.
Former US Open champion Medvedev defeated French-born British wild card Arthur Fery 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
In 2022, the All England Club banned all Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“Today’s reception, I don’t feel much. I was really touched,” said the 27-year-old after his match on Court One.
Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a thrilling five-set battle against Dominic Thiem to book a blockbuster second round clash against two-time champion Andy Murray.
Tsitsipas held his nerve in a final set tie-break to win 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (10/ 8) victory after almost four hours in a match that started on Tuesday.
“For a second, I thought we were going to do a repeat of Isner versus Mahut,” Tsitsipas said in reference to the longest match in history, played at Wimbledon in 2010.
Tsitsipas needs to recover quickly because his Center Court match with Murray is scheduled for Thursday.
“I didn’t expect anyone to support me, but this is not my first rodeo,” he said.
Danish sixth seed Holger Rune reached the second round for the first time with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-2 win over British wildcard George Loffhagen.
US ninth seed Taylor Fritz defeated Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in five sets in a match that began on Monday.
Frances Tiafoe, the American 10th seed who made it to the last 16 in 2022, lost to China’s Wu Yibing in straight sets.
Wu needed medical time out at the end of the first set after falling ill but still pushed her opponent with impressive shot-making.
“Am I playing Superman now?” asked a confused Tiafoe.
Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk pulled off the big upset of the day when she upset Greek eighth seed Maria Sakkari 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a first round tie that was delayed twice for rain.
“I was like numb in a way. So I had a really good cry both times, that helped, because I was desperate,” Kostyuk said as he explained the turnaround.
Canada’s Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up to Murray but now at 849, defeated Austria’s Dennis Novak in four sets for his first tournament win in four years.
Ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova, widely seen as a contender for a third women’s title, defeated Jasmine Paolini of Italy, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1.
The veteran Czech arrives at the All England Club fresh from winning his sixth career grass-court title in Berlin.