Wimbledon 2021: 3 talking points from Novak Djokovic's third-round win over Denis Kudla

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic marched into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) win against Denis Kudla. Despite the vocal crowd at the No. 1 Court lending most of their support to the American, the Serb managed to stay composed and seal a relatively straightforward victory.

Djokovic, who picked up the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles this year, has now won 17 consecutive matches at Grand Slams. The World No. 1 is vying for his sixth Wimbledon crown in London this month, which would move him level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Major titles.

On that note, here's a look at three key takeaways from Djokovic's straight-sets win against Kudla:

#1 Novak Djokovic forced to battle the crowd once again

The key to many of Djokovic's triumphs over the years has been his ability to withstand jeers from the crowds and use it to fuel his own success.

After battling a partisan Centre Court crowd during his first-round encounter against local favorite Jack Draper, the Serb once again lacked support against Kudla.

The World No. 1 was in cruise control as he led by a set and a break but Kudla broke back at which point he began to feed off the vocal crowd. Although the American soon trailed 4-2, he gained a break point on Djokovic's serve, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

However, Djokovic showed admirable composure and rode out the storm, letting out a roar of emotion after eventually holding serve.

#2 Denis Kudla gave Djokovic a stern test in the third set

Denis Kudla
Denis Kudla

Denis Kudla was outplayed by the World No. 1 in the opening two sets. However, the American raised his level in the third, attacking Djokovic's second serve and posting solid numbers on his own.

The 28-year-old led for most of the third set after breaking the Serb early, but conceded the break in the seventh game. The American also led the ensuing tiebreak 4-1 before a few unforced errors proved to be his undoing.

Kudla may have lost in straight sets, but he can be proud of the fact that he forced Djokovic to produce his best tennis during crunch moments.

#3 Djokovic looked shaky in the tiebreaker once again

Novak Djokovic has been far from his best in tiebreakers this year. Widely considered to be one of the best players under pressure, the Serb has suffered many uncharacteristic lapses in tiebreakers this year.

Prior to the start of the tournament, the Serb had won just seven of the 15 tiebreakers he contested this year. On Friday, he looked set to lose another one when he served two double faults to hand Kudla a 3-0 lead in the third-set tiebreaker.

But a few loose unforced errors from the American allowed Djokovic back, and the Seeventually managed to take it 9-7.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

The two-time defending champion is likely to contest a few more tiebreakers over the rest of the tournament and will hope to avoid any lapses that could dent his title challenge.

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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