Djokovic eases past Gulbis in straight sets

Novak Djokovic reached the second week at Wimbledon for the 10th time in his career after beating Ernests Gulbis in straight sets on Saturday.

The second-seeded Serb did not have it all his own way against a tenacious Gulbis on Centre Court, but ultimately produced the goods to secure a 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) victory.

Gulbis made the better start of the two players, fending off a break point in his opening service game before stunning Djokovic and the crowd alike with a break in the next game.

The Latvian maintained his advantage for a few games – until Djokovic pounced with two late breaks to turn the tables and take the first set.

And the Serb was able to maintain his momentum in the second set, two more early breaks handing him a two-sets-to-love advantage in no time.

But to Gulbis' credit he did not give up, and he was at his most competitive during a tight and lengthy third set. 

Djokovic earned just one break point during the 64-minute set, which Gulbis saved with ease, until the inevitable tie-breaker came along to decide matters.

It was then that Gulbis' impressive resolve finally cracked, as Djokovic won the breaker convincingly to complete a straight sets victory after two hours and 16 minutes on court.

"I am delighted with my performance today, I thought I raised the level of tennis, comparing to the first couple of matches," Djokovic said afterwards.

"This was the most focused I have been on the court and it came at the right time. Gulbis presents a great challenge; he is very unpredictable and has a huge serve. It's not easy playing on grass against someone like that.

"In general, I am pleased with the way I have felt and the way I played, I’m glad the crowd enjoyed it."

The match was also punctuated by a heated discussion between Djokovic and the umpire, as the Serb became frustrated with a call that did not go his way.

“Maybe it wasn't right saying me doing that and I apologise," he said. "It was frustrating because I thought the call should have been different. He is trying to do his job best he can, as am I. Sometimes it can just be said in the heat of the match."

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