Novak did not want to think about big goals at Wimbledon 2009 after an early exit a year before.
After reaching the semi-final in 2007, Novak Djokovic experienced an early exit at the All England Club a year later to Marat Safin. After failing to make an impression at the opening two Majors of the 2009 season, world no 4 embraced a different approach at Wimbledon and did not think about a deep run. With the spotlight on Roger Federer and Andy Murray, Novak was more than happy to fly under the radar and keep the focus on his game and the next opponent.
In the second round, Novak took down a qualifier Simon Greul 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours on Court 1. Djokovic got broken four times, won 22 points more than Greul and grabbed eight breaks from 15 opportunities to control the pace.
Greul made a perfect start and broke Djokovic in the opening game to forge a 4-2 gap after three comfortable holds. Novak stepped in and grabbed three straight games for a 5-4 advantage, pulling the break back in game eight following his rival’s double fault and mounting the pressure on the other side.
The Serb scored another break in game 12 to steal the opener after taking five of the last six games. World no. 4 suffered another break at the beginning of the second set and smashed his racquet to the ground in anger. That helped, and he broke back in game two to erase the deficit.
Novak Djokovic passed the opening two rounds at Wimbledon 2009 ahead of Fish clash.
Djokovic broke again in games four and six to forge a 5-1 advantage and served out for the set to build a massive lead ahead of set number three.
Greul came back from 2-0 down in the third set to lock the result at 2-2, and they traded breaks in games five and six to stay neck and neck. Simon held in game seven with a smash winner before Novak took charge and clinched the remaining three games to emerge at the top and advance into the third round thanks to a break at 4-4.
Djokovic would face Mardy Fish in the third round, and he did not present himself as the favorite against such a strong server. “Mardy Fish is a big server, and it’s difficult to face him at any surface. You have to respect his achievements in the last couple of years, especially at Majors.
We played a couple of matches in the previous two and three years; I won them, but they were close. I can not rate myself as a favorite, as he plays well. I will have to impact the return and try to force him to play an extra ball.
I’m aware of my qualities, but I do not want to put additional pressure on myself, knowing how hard is to play against him. I want to focus on my game and the next rival,” Novak Djokovic said.