"He defends as well as Federer on grass" - Mats Wilander on Djokovic

Mats Wilander believes Novak Djokovic plays the best grass-court defence since Roger Federer, and praised his “flawless” second-round performance against Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Djokovic, who is bidding to win Wimbledon for a seventh time, swept past Kokkinakis for the loss of just seven games.It was a vastly-improved showing from Djokovic, who struggled for fluency in his first-round match against Kwon Soon-woo before coming through in four sets.

Wilander said:

“The thing that I think Novak does better than anybody on the grass court is defend because it’s not easy to defend on a grass court. Roger Federer, of course, was brilliant at it but in a different way. Novak defends in the corner but he still puts something on the shot every time. It’s amazing how he can move."

Wilander continued:

"It’s amazing that he trusts his footing so much on a grass court. It’s easy to move like he does on a clay court and a hard court ‒ for him, not for us ‒ but on a grass court, the fact that he’s able to move like that, it says everything about his balance, about his flexibility and about his willingness to never stop moving. He played really well, and in his own words [in his on-court interview], he could hardly believe how much he improved in two days. The trajectory is pointing in the right direction."

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ATP Novak Djokovic Wimbledon

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