Wimbledon 2021: Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla preview, head-to-head & prediction

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Match details

Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs (Q) Denis Kudla

Date: 2 July 2021

Tournament: The Championships, Wimbledon

Round: Third round (Round of 32)

Venue: London, Great Britain

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Grass

Prize money: £17,066,000

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla preview

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is vying for a third consecutive Grand Slam title, a sixth Wimbledon crown, and the 20th Major of his career at the All England Club this year.

The Serb arrived at Wimbledon on the back of a remarkable run at Roland Garros, where he became the first men's player in the Open Era to win two titles at each Slam.

Djokovic's fortnight in London got off to a rough start as he lost the first set of his opener to Jack Draper. But he raised his level over the next three sets to seal a four-set win. He then went on to defeat Kevin Anderson in straight sets, in a repeat of the 2018 Wimbledon final.

The two-time defending champion will now take on American qualifier Denis Kudla in the third round.

Denis Kudla
Denis Kudla

Kudla may have posted some indifferent results so far, but grass is his strong suit and he has had a solid run on the surface this year.

The 28-year-old reached the finals and quarterfinals of the two Challengers in Nottingham prior to the Championships. After coming through qualifying at Wimbledon, he defeated 30th seed and French Open quarterfinalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a thrilling five-set first-round encounter.

He then defeated Andreas Seppi in the second round to set up the meeting with Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla head-to-head

The third-round encounter at Wimbledon will be the third match between the two players, with Novak Djokovic leading the head-to-head 2-0.

Both of their previous meetings came at the Grand Slam level in 2019. Djokovic cruised past the American in the second round at Wimbledon and the third round at the US Open without dropping a set on either occasion.

Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla prediction

As the favorite to defend his crown at SW19 this year, Novak Djokovic comes into the third-round contest brimming with confidence.

The Serb served unbelievably in his first two rounds, conceding just one break of serve and two break points. His movement looked sharp and he struck the ball cleanly from the back of the court.

Novak Djokvoic
Novak Djokvoic

Kudla, meanwhile, can be a threat on grass. He has the ability to find excellent angles from the baseline and also hits with a lot of depth.

However, he will find the going tough against Djokovic, who made a grand total of six unforced errors in his second-round match against Anderson. Moreover, the American's serve is not the biggest and could come under fire against a player widely considered the best returner on tour.

Kudla's run at Wimbledon, from qualifying to the third round, has been excellent. But he is unlikely to pose much of a threat to Djokovic. Providing the Serb doesn't suffer any major lapses in concentration, he should comfortably advance to the next round.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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