Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a series of falls on Centre Court to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Kevin Anderson.
Five-time champion Novak Djokovic looking to move alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as a 20-time Grand Slam winner, has a 9-2 record over the big South African.
That includes three wins at Wimbledon in 2011, 2015 and in the 2018 final.
Anderson was beaten in straight sets in that championship match three years ago, exhausted by back-to-back five-setters in the last-eight and semi-finals.
He defeated Federer 13-11 in the final set of their quarter-final clash and then John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set of the semi-final.
Since that time, Anderson, now ranked 102 in the world, has undergone two surgeries on his right knee in 2019 and 2020.
The 35-year-old said: “I never really thought of quitting.”
Djokovic opens play on Centre Court, a day after seven-time champion Serena Williams retired with a right leg injury after twice falling over in the first set of her opener against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The 39-year-old American left the arena in tears as her dream of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 majors was again thwarted.
Djokovic said: “Kevin is a terrific player, very dangerous on grass courts, fast courts.
Obviously a straight-set victory today but still only one break in each set was enough. I held my serve really comfortably.
“Once we get into the rally, I have a better chance. That was one of the tactical goals – try to make the least unforced errors as possible. I knew Kevin was going to serve big and I wasn’t going to have too many chances to break his serve. I’ve done much better than I thought I would do.
“I believed in myself but it was an almost flawless performance today.”