Djokovic serves up a treat
Serb drops his first set of the tournament in third round clash
Last Updated: 25/06/11 9:12pm
Djokovic: will face Michael Llodra in the last 16
Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis thrilled Centre Court in the evening sunshine before the second seed came through in four sets.
Djokovic won 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4 - that second set slip the first set he had dropped in the tournament - to set up a last-16 clash with 16th seed Michael Llodra.
Former semi-finalist Baghdatis fired down two early aces as both players traded blows.
With the score at 1-1 in the first, the Cypriot wowed the crowd with a cheeky slice, but Djokovic looked strong on his serve and both players held well whilst keeping the fans happy with a number of rallies.
The underdog took Djokovic's service game to 30 before going long twice, leaving him serving to stay in the set at 5-4 down.
Djokovic planted a forehand into the net on set point, but the error went unpunished as Baghdatis fired over the baseline to lose the first set.
Despite such an assured first-set display, Djokovic then lost control, conceding two break points at the start of the second.
Baghdatis failed to take either point, but Djokovic made an even more criminal error when he failed to take four break points in the following game.
The Belgrade-born player was made to pay for the mistake as Baghdatis claimed a vital break and then took hold of the set.
Djokovic, clearly upset at his sudden dip, lost his concentration and sulked around the court.
His frustration became clear in the eighth game of the second set when, after losing a rally, he broke his racquet after slamming it into the turf repeatedly.
He received a warning for the outburst and went on to lose the set after Baghdatis clinched it with an unstoppable 124mph ace.
Baghdatis lapped up the attention of the crowd, who had taken a liking to him for his brave and dynamic performance against a man who had begun the year with an amazing 41-match unbeaten streak.
A broad smile stretched across his face as he held serve to make it 1-1 in the third set, but Djokovic had regained focus and set about dismantling his opponent.
At the second time of asking, Djokovic broke the 26-year-old after he netted a forehand.
The two-time grand slam winner clenched his fist with joy served out to take the third set 6-3 to put himself within sight of victory.
A couple of brutal serves meant the Cypriot rescued two break points at the start of the fourth but it was clear that Djokovic was edging towards a vital break.
It came in the fifth game when Baghdatis struck the net to give Djokovic a 3-2 lead.
Shouts of "We love you Marcos!" rang out, but Baghdatis could not deliver as he battled to stay in the set on Djokovic's serve, squandering two break points before hitting the net to send the world number two through.