World No1 Novak Djokovic confesses he had to fight hard for his first round win over an inspired David Goffin but feels good stepping back on Centre Court despite the wet weather and difficult conditions.
Djokovic may have won in straight sets but was forced to elevate his game when it really mattered to overcome the young Belgian – who made the fourth round last year – 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 13 minutes, after a long day of waiting for the rain to stop.
“Conditions were quite tricky,” said the top-seeded Serb. “But it was the same adjustment for me and my opponent and for many players. It was a difficult day because we were waiting for hours and hours. I think I warmed up five or six times.
“He was playing really nice tennis from the baseline. It was a tough match. I needed to fight all the way through every set.”
Djokovic next faces 23-year-old Argentine Guido Pella, who beat two of Djokovic’s countrymen Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki in back-to-back matches in Dusseldorf last week en route to the semi-finals there.
Grigor Dimitrov remains on course to face Djokovic in the third round after the Bulgarian rising star advanced to second round the easy way when his Colombian opponent Alejandro Falla retired from their match while trailing 4-6, 0-1.
The 22-year-old, who beat Djokovic at the recent Madrid Masters and has risen to No28 in the world rankings, said: “I don’t think I should feel any pressure at the moment. I mean, I’m into the second round of a slam. There’s nothing better than that. It’s a great feeling.
“Of course I saw the draw, and I’ll be happy to face Djokovic. I mean, these are the kind of matches I’d always want to play in. I feel good on the big courts and playing against good players.”
French hope Benoit Paire was unable to finish his battle against former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis as their match was suspended for darkness with Paire leading 3-6, 7-6(1), 4-3.