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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday July 2, 2021

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic was pushed before he pushed past Denis Kudla in straight sets to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Photo Source: Getty

During his post-match interview on No.1 Court after his 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory over American qualifier Denis Kudla, Novak Djokovic was asked where his insatiable appetite for victory came from.

Tennis Express

The World No.1 went into a longish answer, talking about his upbringing in war-torn Serbia before finishing by saying: "Part of it also comes from my upbringing in the mountains, I spent a lot of time in the mountains with wolves, so this is a wolf energy."

We think he was kidding but would you put it past him?

For over a decade the Serb has been the fiercest, most fiery and most unfathomable character in all of tennis, and as the records books get rewritten each and every time he takes the court at a Grand Slam it does feel more and more like he is simply cut from another cloth.

His rivals wonder if he is obsessive. His detractors wonder if he can keep it up.

Meanwhile the world watches on in wonder as Djokovic makes no secret about the fact that he is dead set on smashing the biggest records in the sport. After he winning Roland Garros for the second time two weeks ago he has not shied away from taking on the ultimate challenge—winning the calendar Slam, a feat not accomplished by a male since 1969—and on Friday he took another step in that direction by battling past a very tricky opponent.

Djokovic won his 17th consecutive match at Wimbledon, and his 17th in a row at the Grand Slams to set a round of 16 clash with Chile’s Cristian Garin.

It wasn’t his most perfect performance, and he was very close to losing the third set, when trailing 4-0 in the third set breaker, but true to form the Serb kicked into high gear whenever he needed it the most and managed the match efficiently as he earned his 75th career Wimbledon win in two hours and 17 minutes.

With his victory Djokovic becomes the first man in history to own at least 75 victories at all four majors.

Djokovic pitched in 34 winners and 28 unforced errors and broke serve four times on ten opportunities to send Kudla, an excellent grass-courter who reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2015, packing.

Djokovic wasn't too pleased with his performance, particularly on serve. The stats show that he struggled on second serve a bit, winning just 50 percent of those points.

"I myself from the other side, I can't say that I'm too pleased with the way I performed," he said, after taking time to praise Kudla's efforts. "I felt like today I was a bit off, especially with serving. Usually serve worked really well in the first two matches, and generally my serve is a weapon. It wasn't today."

Things will surely get more complicated from her for the five-time Wimbledon champion, but he can rest easy over the weekend knowing he is exactly in the place he needs to be: closing in on history and confident in his powers.


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