By Mattias Karen
The Associated Press
LONDON — Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams restored a semblance of order to this wild Wimbledon.
A day after Roger Federer led a mass exodus of high-seeded players and favorites, the top-ranked man and woman sailed past the wave of upsets and advanced to the third round with straight-set victories.
Djokovic defeated American qualifier Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-1 under the retractable roof on Centre Court. A few hours earlier, Williams dismissed 19-year-old Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-2.
In fact, after Wednesday’s nonstop string of stunners, there wasn’t a surprise to be had at the All England Club. The highest-seeded player to lose was No. 17 Milos Raonic of Canada, and there were just two injury retirements compared with seven Wednesday.
Instead, there was the familiar sight of covers being pulled over the courts as rain came to the All England Club for the first time this week, forcing the roof to close and a number of afternoon matches to be suspended until Friday.
With Rafael Nadal and Federer knocked out in the first three days, Djokovic also faced surprisingly stiff resistance from Reynolds in the first set. However, he dominated the tiebreaker and had little trouble from there, breaking Reynolds twice in the second and third sets.
“I think the fact that the top players lost in the last few days gives enough reason for all of us to not underestimate any opponent,” Djokovic said. “Everybody, especially lower ranked players in the opening rounds, have nothing to lose really when they go on the center stage and they come up with their best game.”
Next up for Williams is Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm, who at 42 became the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open era. Date-Krumm beat Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-4, 7-5 to advance.
“I have so much respect for her,” said Williams, who herself became the third-oldest woman in the Open era to win a Grand Slam tournament when she captured this year’s French Open. “I think she’s so inspiring to be playing such high level tennis at her age. And she’s a real danger on the grass court, I know that. I definitely will have to be ready.”
Date-Krumm is the second-oldest woman to have won a match at Wimbledon after Martina Navratilova, who was 47 when she reached the second round in 2004. She took a 12-year break from tennis before returning in 2008.