No more Mr Nice Guy as Djokovic demolishes Golubev

Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:27pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic is usually considered one of the "Mr Nice Guys" of the tennis circuit, always game for a laugh and ready to applaud the winners flying off his opponents' rackets.

It was just too bad that Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev failed to witness any of those qualities on Monday.

What Golubev was treated to was no laughing matter, as Djokovic took on the role of Wimbledon executioner, combining brutal force with deft touches to reach the second round with a 6-0 6-1 6-4 victory.

The 2011 champion, elevated to top seed despite his world number two ranking, appeared to be heading for a rarely seen "triple bagel" in men's tennis when he led 6-0 5-0.

Golubev eventually registered on the Centre Court scoreboard after 44 minutes, drawing a warm round of applause from the crowd who were eager to witness a closer contest.

Djokovic, however, was in no mood to oblige and took just 88 minutes to book a second-round showdown with wily Czech campaigner Radek Stepanek.

"It was a great start, especially the first two sets, and I could not be happier with the performance," said the Serb, who has not won a grand slam tournament since the 2013 Australian Open.

Much had been made of the fact that Djokovic was the only member of the so-called 'Big Four' of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to turn up at Wimbledon without playing a competitive match on grass this month.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth