June 29, 2012

World number one Novak Djokovic took just three sets to beat his young opponent Ryan Harrison at Wimbledon on Wednesday. The match took place in the evening under the closed roof of Centre Court, which perhaps slowed the Serb up enough for Harrison to at least steal a few games, finishing as it did 6-4 6-4 6-4. Djokovic never looked quite at his flowing best, but doesn’t yet need to be in just the second round of seven, and did easily enough to progress without much drama. The only moment that took all his concentration was to save 3 break points from 2-3 0-40 down in the second set, and once this mini-crisis was over, Djokovic was comfortable again. “I thought it was a very exciting match to be a part of as a player,” he said afterwards, “and I thought the crowd enjoyed it as well.”

The closed roof did play its part, with players so far this year generally feeling as though the court plays quite differently when covered. The humidity increases slightly, but the main factor is thought to be the lack of airflow which means that the air feels a lot warmer than it is – as if you were playing in oppressively calm weather. “It’s hard to prepare for that because you play indoor match on the Centre Court maybe once every couple of years,” Djokovic said. “2010 was my only match under the roof aside from tonights match. It is quite different. I think the lights were really good. The attendance was fantastic. The crowd enjoyed it. It was a spectacular match from a players point of view. Sometimes its good for a change to be under the roof. It makes it more interesting as well I think, if you go to the late hours.”