Ruthless Djokovic too good for Gulbis

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Novak Djokovic won through to a last-16 meeting with Adrian Mannarino at Wimbledon after seeing off Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2) on Centre Court on Saturday.

The three-time champion had experienced few issues in ousting Martin Klizan - a retiree - and Adam Pavlasek in the opening two rounds and, barring an early wobble in the first, it was a similar story against Gulbis.

Gulbis, a former top-10 player and French Open semi-finalist who was beaten by Djokovic to end that run in 2014, only had one match win on the ATP Tour under his belt this year prior to these championships as he continues his comeback from shoulder and wrist injuries.

The Latvian did secure a break early in the opening set, but Djokovic soon recovered his poise and reeled off nine successive games across the end of the first and start of the second to assert his authority.

Gulbis received treatment to his back after losing the second set and did improve thereafter, but the result was never truly in doubt as Djokovic eased through to a clash with Mannarino on Monday.

Gulbis came under pressure in his first service game, but managed to stave off the threat of a break and then force one himself, courtesy of a crisp backhand down the line followed by a ripping return winner on the forehand side.

His momentum was checked in game eight, however, as a double fault brought Djokovic back on serve and the Serbian capitalised on his opponent's faltering form by breaking again to take the set, Gulbis sending a forehand wide and then dumping a volley into the net.

Djokovic raced in to put away a simple forehand to claim a break at the start of the second, and as Gulbis began to self-destruct the Latvian double faulted once more to give up a 4-0 lead.

Gulbis ended Djokovic's nine-game winning run, but it only momentarily halted his charge towards the second set, sealed thanks to an ace down the middle.

A medical time out seemingly aided Gulbis, who opened the third set with a hold to love and then produced a big hold at 5-5, saving a break point in the process.

It was only a brief stay of execution, however, as Djokovic proved far too strong in the tie-break, letting out roars of delight towards the end as he eased into round four.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Djokovic [2] bt Gulbis 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 21/12
Gulbis - 38/37

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 6/1
Gulbis - 13/7

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 4/11
Gulbis - 1/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic - 63
Gulbis - 62

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic - 79/64
Gulbis - 70/38

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic - 108
Gulbis - 83