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Djokovic v Berrer as it happened

Men's singles first round result:

N DJOKOVIC (Ser) 3 bt M Berrer (Ger)

7-5 2-6 6-3 6-0

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By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon

Djokovic 6-0 Berrer
After two hours and six minutes, the number three seed is through. Great response to the loss of that second set - he just stuck his foot on the gas and sped away into the distance, leaving Yogi choking on the dust.

Djokovic 5-0 Berrer
Brilliant scurrying and fetching from the sliding Serb, slicing a forehand over the net from an insane angle before zipping a silky forehand right down the line. His third break of the set; just the formalities to be dealt with.

Djokovic 4-0 Berrer
Poor old Yogi - he's shattered. Djok moves him around like a marble marionette. If this was a boxing contest the air would be thick with flying white towels.

Djokovic 3-0 Berrer
Sweet cross-court pass from Djok as Yogi lumbers around like an angry bear. Capitulation then follows as a lame double-fault on break point flings away another break.

Djokovic 2-0 Berrer
One-way traffic now. Djok volleys with Beckeresque brilliance and you sense the end is nigh. Long shadows from the stunted roof inch across the court as a man a few rows in front of me slurps self-consciously on a glass of Pimms.

Djokovic 1-0 Berrer
The worst possible start for the big unit - his sixth double-fault of the contest tosses his first service game away. Djok now in complete control.

THIRD SET

Djokovic 6-3 Berrer
Easier than Sunday morning in the Ritchie household, and Djok is now red-hot favourite to polish this off. He tears off his sweaty shirt as the set is called his, pauses to allow the photographers to do their thing and then slides into a fresh one. Yogi chunters to himself while eyeing the sky in desperation.

Djokovic 5-3 Berrer
He does so, that booming serve his only hope at the mo. It's down to Djok now. Berrer has never won a five-set match, which bodes badly should he fail to turn the tide in the next game.

Djokovic 5-2 Berrer
Djok rattles through his serve with ease, and Berrer now needs to hold to stay in the set.

Djokovic 4-2 Berrer
At 30-40 and on his second serve, Yogi is teetering on the brink. But Djok drifts a fraction long with a slicey backhand that had Berrer beaten, and two bangers of serves later Yogi is safe. For now.

Djokovic 4-1 Berrer
The Djok serve is now the sort of relentless machine that Sarah Connor warned us about in Terminator II, and Yogi can't get a toe-hold. I've just been told that Grace Jones is down at Wimbledon today. Never had her down as a tennis fan, Jones - it's like glancing into the Royal Box to see Bianca Jagger talking backhand slices with Nile Rogers of Chic.

Djokovic 3-1 Berrer
Dicey hold for Berrer, but a hold it is. Anything will do at this stage. Dark marks appearing along the baselines as the court receives a scuffing.

Djokovic 3-0 Berrer
Now it's Yogi's turn to look stunned. Djok has upped the pace and holds with brutal efficiency. A glance at my notes reveals that Berrer's father Manfred is an "inventor for experimental kits", which sounds rather sinister to these ears.

Djokovic 2-0 Berrer
Is this the same player who just nose-dived out of the second set? Djok goes on the attack against Yogi and takes all four points off him, like a renegade teacher snatching a packet of sweets off an errant pupil. Break taken.

Djokovic 1-0 Berrer
Head buried under his towel at the changeover, Djok comes out eyes blazing and feet finally moving again. He holds at pace and glares across the net with icy Serbianess.

SECOND SET

Djokovic 2-6 Berrer
Brilliant from Yogi - Djok virtually surrenders the set as the Berrer serve sends him reeling against the ropes. Berrer won 93% of the points on his first serve in that set - not bad for a man who's lost his last five matches and has never beaten a player ranked in the top ten.

Djokovic 2-5 Berrer
What the... Yogi is on fire, his groundstrokes dismantling Djok and his returns homing in on the Serb's shoe-laces like guided missiles. Djok, stunned, finds himself at 0-40 and is left helpless as a magical forehand lob seals Yogi's second break. Delighted yells from the wide-awake spectators.

Djokovic 2-4 Berrer
There were chances to engineer a break back for Djok there, but he puts a forehand into the net and then drifts another long. Yogi hammers down a 131mph ace and he;s in control of the set.

Djokovic 2-3 Berrer
Djok seems to have lost his concentration. He lets Yogi dictate the points and seems surprised to find himself staring down the barrel of a break point - but Yogi's dander is up, and the crowd put palm to palm as he muscles Djok aside to take his chance. Interesting.

Djokovic 2-2 Berrer
Yogi's best game of the match. He picks up speed like a piano dropped off a cliff and creams a backhand pass down the line before thundering a serve wide to Djok's backhand side.

Djokovic 2-1 Berrer
Not the quickest around court, Yogi - at one point he's still chugging slowly after a Djok forehand when the next serve lands. A confused bumble-bee rams itself repeatedly against the commentary box window in a performance that's as heart-breaking as the final scene in The Champ.

Djokovic 1-1 Berrer
Shadows stretch across Centre Court as Berrer comes barrelling out of the break. Djok can't deal with that first serve when all clicks and the German keeps his head above water.

Djokovic 1-0 Berrer
Straightforward hold for Djok, clearly riding a happy wave of sugary rush after that early munching.

FIRST SET

Djokovic 7-5 Berrer
Wobbles from Yogi just when he needs to stay strong - a wafter wide to give away a break point, and then - with Djok chasing vainly from side to side - clouts one long to toss away the set. Das ist einen schtinker. Djok re-loads on water this time, and you can't help but feel that we've tip-toed past the tipping point in this match.

Djokovic 6-5 Berrer
What a backhand from Yogi - a cruncher down the line that's got so much umph behind it that it's a surprise it doesn't pass straight through the back wall while leaving a smoking exit-hole. Djok decides to cut off the court by coming to the net, and two punchy volleys later his nose is back in front.

Djokovic 5-5 Berrer
Once again the Berrer serve rides to the rescue. Djok has glimmer at 30-30 but the slamming serve shuts the door. Odds good for a tie-break shoot-out.

Djokovic 5-4 Berrer
Former Wimbledon champ Ann Jones there in the VIP slots. Djok holds with ease, and it's squeaky-cheeks time for Yogi now. Djok nails another energy pouch at the changeover - do his teeth mean nothing to him?

Djokovic 4-4 Berrer
Roars from the crowd as the umpire reaches casually over the side of his chair to catch the Djok mis-hit which gives Yogi the game. Berrer is listed in my media guide as weighing 99kg, which I think we can safely say means at last 104kg. Important not to break that psychological barrier - in public at least.

Djokovic 4-3 Berrer
It's the same on the Djok serve - he's winning 86% of points on his first serve, and he's through that service game before Berrer can blink. As the players slump into their chairs at the changeover, people stand up from their seats and stretch their legs while looking around at the unlucky punters sitting further back than them.

Djokovic 3-3 Berrer
Yogi Berrer is winding up the big guns himself - if nothing else, it'll mean he has to do less running. When the first serve lands he's winning 83% of the points, but when Djok gets the ball back at pace, his troubles start. A pigeon swoops low over the court, possibly confused by the absence of the old Centre Court rafters.

Djokovic 3-2 Berrer
Easier for the high-haired no.3 seed. Berrer blocks back one battering-ram of a serve but can do nothing about the rest, and Djok trots back to his chair to bite the top off an energy pouch and squirt some isotonic gloopiness all over his molars.

Djokovic 2-2 Berrer
Titters from the crowd as Djok top-edges a big Berrer serve and sends the ball spinning into the Royal Box, where the few grand fromages still seated leave it disdainfully for a lackey to return. Big-Unit Berrer ships two break points as the Djok backhand bites, saves them both with crunching first serves and then saves another with his skiddy lefthander serve. Djok misses wide with the court on its knees sobbing and Berrer hangs on with beefy fingernails.

Djokovic 2-1 Berrer
Tell you what - Berrer looks like a man who walks straight past the salad bar at the players' buffet in favour of the cold meats and pies section. We'll be tactful and say that his groundstrokes have a lot of weight behind them. He crashes a backhand past Djok's waving waft to work two break points, only for the Djok serve to leave him reeling. Early doors, but it's developing nicely.

Djokovic 1-1 Berrer
The Royal Box has emptied like a bathtub with the plug pulled out. What is it about 27-year-old journeyman Berrer that the patricians don't want to see? Djok goes to break point as the German gets the jitters before a fierce overhead steers the server home.

Djokovic 1-0 Berrer
Stutter stutter bang bang bang on the Serb serve - a double-fault to slip to 0-30 before three aces turn the game around. The last belter clocks a frightening 124mph. Light blue sweatband on Djoko's right wrist; a white one on his left.

1556: Now then - let's see what the third seed has got in his Djocker. He's won four of his five matches on grass this year, the defeat coming obviously against Rafa at Queen's. As for Michael Berrer, he's lost both of his grass-court efforts this year. We all know where the smart cash is.


see also
Ivanovic cruises through opener
23 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day one photos
23 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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