Edmund and Wawrinka out as Djokovic cruises through
Kyle Edmund let a two-set lead slip against Fernando Verdasco, while Stan Wawrinka also lost as Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic advanced.
Novak Djokovic progressed into round three at Wimbledon, but Kyle Edmund and Stan Wawrinka were both dumped out on Wednesday.
Denis Kudla got the Centre Court crowd on side with some bright play and inventive shots against the defending champion, but Djokovic ultimately made light work of the Ukrainian-born American to win 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Edmund did not have the same luck earlier on Centre Court, however, as he gave up a two-set lead to lose 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 to Fernando Verdasco.
There was a bigger shock on No.2 Court, as Stan Wawrinka succumbed to a surprise defeat to American youngster Reilly Opelka.
Kevin Anderson got the better of Janko Tipsarevic, with teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime – seeded 19th – brushing aside Corentin Moutet, also in four sets.
Tenth-seed Karen Khachanov overcame a poor start to dispatch Queen’s champion Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-4 7-5 6-4, while Daniil Medvedev saw off qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 6-4 6-4.
Seeds Milos Raonic, David Goffin, Roberto Bautista Agut and Benoit Paire also booked their places in round three.
“How dare he do that!”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 3, 2019
DJOKOVIC’S TITLE DEFENCE RUNNING SMOOTHLY
World number one Djokovic had four match points against Kudla as the 26-year-old rallied to push the Serbian all the way in the final game.
A stray return into the net finally ended Kudla’s resistance, however, and Djokovic was content with another convincing display as he hunts a fifth Wimbledon title.
“I’m pleased with my game overall. There were some moments in the match when I could have done better but it was a solid performance overall,” Djokovic said.
“Ambitions are high and I’ve been fortunate in my career to do so well in grand slams. I have to think only about the next challenge and take things one step at a time.”
BRITISH NUMBER ONE EDMUND BOWS OUT
Edmund started well on Centre Court, breezing through the first two sets 6-4 6-4, but a knee injury derailed his performance.
And despite playing on after receiving treatment, Edmund could not hold off Verdasco, who fought back to secure victory over three hours and 43 minutes.
“I am a little tired. It’s never easy to beat a player like Kyle,” Verdasco told BBC Sport after his win. “The match was pretty complicated in the first and second set, and I was just trying to stay in the match and keep fighting, even if things weren’t going my way but I was able to come back slowly point after point.”
WAWRINKA PRAGMATIC AFTER EARLY EXIT
Wawrinka has not been beyond the second round at SW19 since 2015 and the 34-year-old Swiss took his early exit on the chin after Opelka consigned him to a 7-5 3-6 4-6 6-4 8-6 loss.
“I never said I was ready to win Wimbledon. I said that was my goal. I come every year with the challenge to play the best I can. I played in the quarter-final twice,” said Wawrinka, who has won the other three majors.
“If not, I lost first round, second round. I know how tough it is to win a grand slam. I’m really happy with everything I’ve achieved all my career by winning three grand slams in the same era of the big four.”