Djokovic wins 30th straight major match
LONDON (AP) - Chalk up another Grand Slam milestone for Novak Djokovic.
The defending Wimbledon champion won his 30th straight match at a major tournament Wednesday, sweeping into the third round with a clinical 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Adrian Mannarino under the roof on Centre Court.
The win gave Djokovic sole ownership of third place on the all-time list for most consecutive victories in Grand Slam play. Only Rod Laver with 31 and Don Budge with 37 have won more in a row.
Asked whether he was surprised to reach the 30-match mark, Djokovic said: ''No, not so much, because I do have lots of expectations for myself.''
''But I'm very grateful obviously for the fact I'm able to play on such a high level consistently in the Grand Slam tournaments that matter the most in our sport,'' he added. ''Definitely that is a stat that I'm very proud of.''
Djokovic hasn't lost a Grand Slam match since falling to Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 French Open final. He hasn't dropped a set so far this week as he bids for a fourth Wimbledon title, fifth straight Grand Slam championship and 13th major overall.
For two sets and most of the third, Djokovic had little trouble against the 55th-ranked Mannarino, a French left-hander playing on his 28th birthday.
But the match came to life with Djokovic serving for the match at 5-4. He served two double-faults, his seventh and eighth of the match, and was broken for the first time.
Then, in the tiebreaker, Djokovic moved out to a 5-2 lead after a pair of cross-court winners. Two points later, Mannarino played a soft drop shot. Djokovic raced forward and slipped and fell onto his back, his racket flying, as he knocked the ball into the net.
Djokovic was unhurt, and unfazed, and he closed out the match three points later.
The match was played in its entirety under the retractable roof, which was closed after steady rain lashed the grounds and forced delays on all other courts.
''The atmosphere when the roof is closed is a little more special,'' Djokovic said. ''It gets loud and when I failed to serve it out at 5-4 in the third, the crowd really got into it. It was fun.''