Novak Djokovic: I had to slow down pace

American tennis player Denis Kudla was playing good against Novak Djokovic early on so the world No. 1 had to make some adjustments.

Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, struggled against Kudla but managed to win 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7) and teach the Wimbledon third round. 

“I had to slow down the pace in the game because he was really handling the flat ball well from the back of the court. He has really good balance,” Djokovic said. “I think his backhand and forehand as well are pretty flat. He moves around pretty well on the grass-court surface. He’s a really good player.”

Djokovic not happy with his performance 

“I can’t say that I’m too pleased with the way I performed. I felt like today I was a bit off, especially with serving,” Djokovic said. “Usually [my] serve worked really well in the first two matches, and generally my serve is a weapon. It wasn’t today.

“Obviously in some parts of the match it was good, but generally it wasn’t that great of a rhythm that I had with that part of my game. But it is what it is. I don’t want to talk about negatives. I just won in straight sets.”

Djokovic plays next Cristian Garin, who beat Pedro Martinez Portero in four sets. 

“It feels amazing [to reach the second week for the first time]. I didn’t play a grass tournament before Wimbledon, so I was a bit out of rhythm and without any matches on grass. My last match [on this surface] was here at Wimbledon in 2019,” Garin said. “I didn’t expect to play the way that I’m playing, super solid and serving well, playing almost every game pretty solid. I’m so happy to be in the second week.”

It remains to be seen if Djokovic will lift his level of play when he meets Garin in the Wimbledon last-16.