A tough match for Djokovic: Rising star Fearnley puts up fight in Wimbledon thriller

Thursday, 04 July 2024 at 17:34
Novak Djokovic is through to the third round of Wimbledon where he will face either Tomas Martin Etcheverry or Alexei Popyrin but he didn't have it all his own way by any means as a new British star found his way into contention in Jacob Fearnley.
Fearnley who is part of a next generation of British talents also including Charles Broom and Henry Searle was a player fairly unknown and so much so that Djokovic had to watch video of him. It went to tape in the opening set for the seven-time champion but in the end, Fearnley was fine margins away from forcing a deciding set and asking the question of the former World No.1.
It was a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 win for Djokovic in just over three hours as his knee was firmly tested over the duration at SW19. He opened up with a fairly comfortable opening set gambit not really allowing Fearnley any sort of resolve on his serve and breaking at an opportune moment as it started to break down. He sealed it 6-3. The second set was very similar with Djokovic claiming it 6-4 breaking after it was back and forth throughout. He nearly handed Djokovic another break but stayed firm to the task and moved into a two set lead.
Only for Fearnley to battle back who was supreme all day on his second serve and that is the weapon that caused him an issue. After exchanging breaks, he saved break points in holding to make it 5-4. He claimed it 7-5 and was on the verge of forcing a deciding set. But errors at the wrong times and upped intensity from Djokovic proved key as he found his way through. Crisis averted and another test complete as he moves into the third round.

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