In the four Grand Slams since last Wimbledon, he has gone out in the third round, the final, the second round and the quarterfinals. Rybarikova has barely played this season since having surgery on her knee and wrist and could not put her happiness into words after her astounding fightback.
Kerber was beaten by Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final a year ago and, with the USA star absent, she is among the favourites to make it back to the title match despite a rocky run in 2017.
Djokovic hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the 2016 French Open, and he also lost his No. 1 ranking and made a coaching switch.
Well two of them were very hot favourites to hold up their end.
The elder Zverev will next face Federer.
Djokovic will next play Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who sprang a Wimbledon surprise as the world number 589 defeated former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
It was on Court 1 previous year that Djokovic slumped to defeat by Sam Querrey, beginning the dramatic form crash in a player who’d seemed invincible.
“That’s a good point”, the Serbian world No.4 said.
Novak Djokovic empathises with Bernard Tomic’s plight but also understands a major sponsor’s decision to cut ties with the troubled Australian. “Exactly what I want”.
“It was very hard to play Karolina Pliskova, she plays very well,”Rybarikova said. Never really found ways to get into my service games on first and second serves”.
Gael Monfils, 30, beat 22-year-old Kyle Edmund in straight sets, and 31-year-old Tomas Berdych, the No11 seed, beat 25-year-old Ryan Harrison in four sets.
Roger Federer is not going to leave a stack of soulless husks in his wake at Wimbledon the way Rafael Nadal did at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic has been out of sorts for most of 2017, but the Serb advanced to the third round of the Wimbledon men’s singles with zero fuss on Thursday, dispatching opponent Adam Pavlasek in straight sets 6-2 6-2 6-1 on Court No. 1.
Dimitrov is now set to play against the victor between American John Isner and Israeli Dudi Sela.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov was untroubled as the 2014 semi-finalist breezed past Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. “I think it was just like all of a sudden I was walking up to the locker room after my warm-up and I was just, you know, feeling excited and nervous”.
And what of the oldest of them, Mr Poster Boy?
Sympathy was in short supply for Wimbledon’s walking wounded on Tuesday after back-to-back retirements robbed Centre Court fans of what should have been a blockbuster double bill featuring Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Federer broke again in the opening game of the third set and a further break enabled the Swiss to serve out for victory.
From that stage, his nerves dropped away, for it was nerves that even this most experienced of men blamed for his slow start.