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Djokovic survives rookie test as Wimbledon craves Murray magic

Novak Djokovic faced a challenging match at Wimbledon on Thursday as he continues his quest for an eighth men’s title, while Andy Murray prepared for an emotional farewell.

Djokovic, a seven-time champion, encountered resistance from British wild card Jacob Fearnley but ultimately prevailed 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 in a three-hour battle. Despite comfortably taking the first two sets on Centre Court, Djokovic faced a resurgence from the 277th-ranked Fearnley, who broke Djokovic’s serve twice to claim the third set. In the fourth set, Fearnley missed a crucial opportunity with two break points, allowing Djokovic to break in the 11th game and secure the victory.

Reflecting on the match, Djokovic acknowledged the challenges posed by Fearnley, particularly on a windy day with tricky conditions. Djokovic, who recently underwent knee surgery, emphasized the unpredictability of facing lesser-known opponents who play with nothing to lose.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pegula, the fifth-ranked player, suffered an upset, losing 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1 to China’s Wang Xinyu. Wang, ranked 42nd, celebrated her first victory against a top-10 player, crediting her opponent’s challenging game on grass courts.

In contrast, women’s top seed Iga Swiatek had a smoother path to the third round, defeating Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3. Swiatek extended her winning streak to 21 matches, maintaining her momentum at Wimbledon.

The focus will now shift to Andy Murray’s farewell at Wimbledon, where he will compete in the men’s doubles alongside his brother Jamie. Murray, a two-time Wimbledon singles champion, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to bid farewell to his fans on Centre Court, emphasizing his desire for closure after a distinguished career marked by three Grand Slam singles titles and significant achievements in doubles.

In other matches, two-time finalist Ons Jabeur and French Open runner-up Alexander Zverev are also scheduled to compete on day four of Wimbledon, adding to the tournament’s excitement and drama.

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