World number one Novak Djokovic stormed past Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon 2021 and he gave a very interesting interview after his latest win.
Djokovic, the top seed and overwhelming favourite at SW19, was ruthlessly efficient in securing a straight-sets victory over the American on Court One.
The top seed never really looked overly troubled, even when Kudla raced into an early lead in the third set tie-break, and he will next take on Cristian Garin after the 25 year old from Chile beat Pedro Martinez.
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After sweeping through the opening two sets with the breaks of serve that were required at the key moments, Djokovic battled through an entertaining third set tie-break to take it 9-7.
While the American qualifier held a 4-1 lead in what proved to be the third and final set tie-break, Djokovic showed his famous fighting spirit to claw his way back and take it to wrap up the match.
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In his on-court interview after the match, Djokovic was asked about his battling qualities and where they came from.
"I think a part of it is genes - my family, the way I've grown up during difficult times for my country," Djokovic explained.
"Failure was never an option for me or anyone in my family. We just needed to find the basic needs for us to survive during those times. It was difficult, and I think that has strengthened my character, I would say.
Part of it comes from my upbringing in the mountains. I spent a lot of time in the mountains with wolves, so this is a wolf energy right here. I'm not kidding, actually!
There were occasional moments where the Serb lost his intensity as Kudla threw everything he possibly could at his opponent, but ultimately it was the 34 year old who secured the win.
"I have to give credit to Denis for playing really well," Djokovic said.
Novak Djokovic, poing serré, lors de son 3e tour du tournoi de Wimbledon, contre Denis Kudla, le 2 juillet 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
"The third set was very close. He's a great guy on and off the court, we get along really well and I wish him all the best.
"He played a great three sets today, he was a bit unlucky in the tie-break, he was in front for most of it. I somehow found the way to win."
The Australian Open and French Open champion earlier this year has been heavily backed to continue his incredible form this season as he aims to draw level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
The defending champion, chasing his sixth Wimbledon title, certainly appears set to make it three Grand Slams out of three this year if he can continue as he has started.
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