Defending champion Novak Djokovic eased to a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Argentina’s Pedro Cachin on Centre Court to reach the second round of Wimbledon on Monday.

The match lasted two hours and 12 minutes.

Cachin broke first, in the third game, but Novak regrouped and responded with a double break to take the opening set.

After the first set, the roof was closed, but there was no play for almost 80 minutes because of a damp court. That did not disturb Nole’s rhythm, on the contrary. The Serbian star broke his rival’s serve twice in the second set and won the tie-break in the third set to progress.

“It doesn’t get much better than Wimbledon, really, in terms of history and tradition,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview. “I’ve said it many times throughout my career. Coming to Wimbledon was always the dream, to win it. A childhood dream came true in 2011 and each year I come back I kind of relive those memories and just kind of connect with that young boy that was dreaming in Serbia. I try to not take any match, any minute that I spend on the court here for granted. I’m definitely blessed, so it’s a wonderful feeling to be here.”

“I think Pedro deserves a round of applause for his performance today,” added Novak. “Especially in the third set, he was hitting very well. Hitting his spots in the box extremely precisely, and it was not easy to break his serve. We went toe to toe to the tie-break, and I had a better start to the tie-break. I guess that helped me to win the tie-break and close out the match.”

Match statistics: aces (13-10), double faults (3-3), winners (45-27), unforced errors (19-29), total points won (106-85).

Novak is aiming to win his eighth Wimbledon trophy and match Roger Federer’s record.

The second seed will next play Australia’s Jordan Thompson (ATP no.70), after he eliminated American Brandon Nakashima (2-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3).

Photo: AP

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