Top seed Novak Djokovic will face Denis Kudla in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The first round match for Djokovic little more than a formality. He faced German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday to open his campaign. Djokovic won the game by a score of 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. In truth, the game started badly for the Serb. Kohlschreiber broke him in his first service game which gave some hope to the neutral of a competitive match. The German had beaten Djokovic once this year. But the defending champion stepped up to the plate and dominated from there on.
He broke back instantly and took the first set with ease. Kohlschreiber improved in the second set, but his level dropped late on, and Djokovic took it 7-5. The Serb breezed through the third set to progress to the second round. “It felt great to be back on Centre Court – it is a sacred court. It has a special place in my heart,” Djokovic said after the game. “It was a great test for me. All three sets were close, so I worked hard.”
He is aiming to defend his crown at Wimbledon and claim his fifth title on Centre Court in the process. If he does that, he will win his 16th singles Grand Slam title of his career. Djokovic has added former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic to his coaching team. His head coach is still Marian Vajda, but Ivanisevic’s inputs will certainly not go to waste. Djokovic looks in fine form, and the rest of the competition will be wary of him.
His opponent in the second round will be unseeded American Denis Kudla. The 26-year-old is of Ukranian descent. He also won his first round match in straight sets. Kudla faced Tunisian player Malek Jaziri in the encounter. He won 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in the game. It was a comfortable victory for Kudla, and he will face a much tougher opponent in the second round.
Kudla is ranked 85th in the world according to the ATP rankings. This year is the sixth time he has played in the Wimbledon main draw. His best finish came in 2015 when he managed to reach the fourth round. His best result this year came when he reached the semi-finals at the Surbiton Trophy. Victor Troicki beat him then to knock him out. Since then, he has taken part at the Halle Open, Stuttgart Open, and the Eastbourne International tournament.
Djokovic and Kudla have never met before in their careers. The difference in their career trajectories could not be starker, and Kudla is yet to win a singles career title.
Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla Prediction
Djokovic will be the overwhelming favorite to beat Kudla and progress to the second round. He should get the victory in straight sets, and Kudla will provide meek resistance at best. Djokovic is vastly experienced compared to his opponent, and he will face no difficulty in getting the victory.