Easy for Djokovic and Federer, Isner's fifth-set woe and Gulbis' upset

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Centre Court was treated to full matches involving Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the first time at Wimbledon 2017 on Thursday.

Djokovic and Federer were the beneficiaries of retirements in round one, much to the chagrin of a disgruntled crowd, but the pair of former world number ones were in imperious form en route to round three.

The two legends were not the only talking points of the men's singles on a baking-hot day at SW19...

 

EASY STREET FOR DJOKOVIC AND FEDERER

Having struggled for form over the past 12 months, Djokovic seems to be approaching his best again and he was a cut above Adam Pavlasek in a 6-2 6-2 6-1 demolition.

He said: "I think I definitely will feel better as days go by. I have been in this particular situation before many times and will try to use the experience knowing what to do on a daily basis to get myself in the right shape, the right state of mind and hopefully the right performance."

It was equally brilliant from Federer, chasing a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title, as he outclassed Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 6-2 in just 90 minutes.

Despite the straight-forward win, Federer said he had to contend with some SW19 nerves: "I struggled early on, couldn't get rid of my nerves. I should feel comfortable here, and I do, and I have to tell myself that eventually it will come. I'm happy that it only happened in the second round."

 

ISNER STRUGGLING TO GO THE DISTANCE

Cast your minds back to 2010 when John Isner (23) was involved in an epic, mammoth, record-breaking, five-set victory over Nicolas Mahut - winning 70-68 in the final set.

Since then, the American's luck has been out and he is 0-4 in fifth-set deciders at the grass-court slam. His latest struggle to last the distance came in a second-round loss to Dudi Sela, who triumphed 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

DEL POTRO DEPOSED BY INSPIRED GULBIS

Just three years ago, Ernests Gulbis broke into the world's top 10 after reaching the French Open semi-finals, but injuries and poor form have seen him plummet to a ranking of 589.

However, the Latvian enjoyed a moment to savour as he picked off Juan Martin del Potro (29), who has himself battled injuries throughout his career, 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3) and became the lowest ranked player to reach round three since 2007.

Gulbis' reward, if you can call it that, is a round-three showdown with Djokovic.

MANNARINO PUNISHED FOR BALL-BOY BARGE, BAGEL BITES EXCHANGED 

Adrian Mannarino had reason to celebrate as he won a fifth-set decider against Yuichi Sugita 6-2 having trailed two sets to one.

But the Frenchman was given a code violation for barging into a ball boy. Mannarino's somewhat puzzling protests that the bump was due to a hip injury fell on deaf ears.

There was also a strange piece of tie-break bagel symmetry in Jared Donaldson's four-set win over Paolo Lorenzi. Tie-breaks were needed in the second and third sets, with each player losing one without scoring a point - Donaldson eventually winning through 6-4 7-6 (7-0) 6-7 (0-7) 6-2.