LONDON, (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic continued to match title rival Andy Murray stride for stride with a nonchalant march into the last 16 as the leading seeds flourished in the Wimbledon sunshine yesterday.
The Serbian world number one neutralised Frenchman Jeremy Chardy with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory in 86 minutes and, like Murray, has now won all nine sets he has played.
American Serena Williams, bidding to equal Roger Federer’s 17 grand slam titles by successfully defending her crown, has also been blemish-free and offered no concessions to 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm under the Centre Court roof.
The women’s top seed was scheduled last on Court One but with other matches dragging on she was switched across to Centre where she dispatched the Japanese veteran 6-2 6-0 in an hour.
While Djokovic and Murray have been in perfect harmony, elsewhere the opening week has been a turbulent one with a head-spinning spate of shocks, injuries and withdrawals.
Surprises were thinner on the ground on Day Six with men’s fourth seed David Ferrer coming closest to falling through the trapdoor before battling back to beat unorthodox Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in five sets to reach the fourth round.
The 31-year-old was joined there by 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych, the Czech seventh seed, who beat giant South African Kevin Anderson for the ninth time in a row, and Argentine number eight seed Juan Martin del Potro who survived a collision with a court-side chair to overpower Slovenian Grega Zemlja.
As in the men’s draw, only six of the top 16 women have reached tomorrow’s fourth round which will feature a total of nine players aged 30 or over – equalling a professional era record at Wimbledon.