Djokovic eases through at Wimbledon as women's draw loses six appeal
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Novak Djokovic comfortably reached the last 16 at Wimbledon on Friday while Maria Sakkari became the sixth top-10 women's seed to crash out in the first week.
Three-time defending champion Djokovic demolished Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 to stay on course to pull level with Pete Sampras as a seven-time champion, one behind Roger Federer's men's record.
Friday's win was the 330th of Djokovic's Grand Slam career.
"So far, so good," said the 35-year-old top seed after beating a player who described him as his "idol".
"I expect high standards from myself. You always want to raise the level and things are shaping up well."
Waiting in the fourth round is Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven.
Playing in his debut Grand Slam main draw, the world number 104 defeated 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
The 25-year-old Van Rijthoven proved his prowess on grass by winning the 's-Hertogenbosch title last month, defeating world number one Daniil Medvedev in the final.
"Before the tournament started, it was a dream for me to play Djokovic," said Van Rijthoven, only the seventh man since 2000 to reach the round of 16 on his Grand Slam debut.
"So to be able to have that chance and to maybe even play on Centre Court or Court 1 is beautiful and magical."
Women's seeds tumble
Greek fifth seed Sakkari lost 6-3, 7-5 to German world number 103 Tatjana Maria, who only returned to the tour last year after maternity leave.
Maria, in the fourth round of a Slam for the first time, will face former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the quarter-finals.
"It feels amazing, first time in the last 16, so that's amazing. To win against Sakkari today, it's pretty awesome," said mother-of-two Maria.
Ostapenko, a semi-finalist at the All England Club in 2018, took her winners count to 102 over three rounds by defeating Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Germany's Jule Niemeier followed up her win over second seed Anette Kontaveit by seeing off Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in three sets.
Also exiting Friday was 2018 champion Angelique Kerber, with the German 15th seed beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Elise Mertens.
The Belgian, who had to save two match points in her previous round, next faces world number two Ons Jabeur.
A quarter-finalist in 2021, Tunisia's Jabeur breezed past French teenager Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3.
John Isner set a new record for serving aces in his third-round clash against Jannik Sinner.
The 37-year-old American started his match against the 10th seed four aces behind Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, who has served 13,728.
Isner broke the record in the third game with his fifth ace.
Isner, who stands six feet 10 inches (208 centimetres) tall, is also in the record books for taking part in the longest match in history in 2010, against Nicolas Mahut.
A plaque was unveiled outside Court 18 at Wimbledon to commemorate that contest, which lasted 11 hours and five minutes.
"Give him another plaque," US tennis great John McEnroe said on ESPN.
At the other end of the age scale, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz later Friday targets the last 16 for the first time when he faces Germany's Oscar Otte.
Alcaraz needed five sets to see off Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round before sweeping past Tallon Griekspoor.
"I need more hours on court, on grass, to feel more comfortable," said the 19-year-old.
Otte should be the fresher of the two.
He has dropped just five games in two rounds, helped by second-round opponent Christian Harrison retiring after just 15 minutes.
Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul kept up American momentum at Wimbledon by reaching the last 16.
In all, eight American men had already reached the third round, the most at Wimbledon since 1995.