Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek were in cruise control at Wimbledon on Wednesday, but confetti-throwing climate protesters and rain delays caused more headaches at the All England Club.
Djokovic, bidding for a record equalling eighth Wimbledon men’s title and 24th Grand Slam crown, defeated Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-5.
It was the 36-year-old’s 350th Grand Slam singles win, third only to Roger Federer and Serena Williams on the all-time list.
Victory also preserved his 10-year undefeated record on Centre Court.
“We have a very romantic and special relationship, this court and I,” said Djokovic who could face old rival Stan Wawrinka in the third round.
While Djokovic and Swiatek moved effortlessly into the last 32, there were still four first round matches which had yet to start.
They were four of the 21 matches cancelled until Thursday due to rain.
The day before, only eight ties were completed as torrential rain swamped the All England Club.
On Wednesday, a new headache presented itself in the shape of Just Stop Oil climate protesters.
Two activists, both in their 60s, ran onto Court 18 to scatter orange confetti and jigsaw pieces during Grigor Dimitrov’s match against Sho Shimabukuro.
“Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the grounds,” said a Wimbledon spokesman.
‘Touched’ by welcome
Just hours later, the match between Katie Boulter and Daria Saville on the same court was held up when another protestor repeated the confetti-jigsaw gesture to jeers from frustrated fans.
Women’s top seed Swiatek beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-0 to sweep into the third round.
The reigning US Open and French Open champion has never been beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon but has dropped just six games so far in this year’s tournament.
World No 3 Daniil Medvedev marked his return to Wimbledon after last year’s ban on Russian players with a first round win.
Former US Open champion Medvedev defeated French-born British wild card Arthur Fery 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
In 2022, the All England Club banned all Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“The reception today, I don’t feel it that often. I was really touched,” said the 27-year-old after his match on Court One.
Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a thrilling five-set battle against Dominic Thiem to book a blockbuster second round clash against two-time champion Andy Murray.
Tsitsipas held his nerve in a final set tie-break to secure a 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (10-8) victory after almost four hours in a match which had started on Tuesday.
“For a second I thought we were doing the repeat of Isner versus Mahut,” Tsitsipas said in reference to the longest match in history, played at Wimbledon in 2010.
Tsitsipas will have to quickly recover as his Centre Court duel with Murray is set for Thursday.
“I’m not expecting anyone supporting me, but it’s not my first rodeo,” he said.
Danish sixth seed Holger Rune reached the second round for the first time with a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-2 win against British wildcard George Loffhagen.
US ninth seed Taylor Fritz saw off Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in five sets in a match which had started on Monday.
Frances Tiafoe, the American 10th seed who made the last 16 in 2022, saw off China’s Wu Yibing in straight sets.
Wu needed a medical time out at the end of the first set after falling ill but still pushed his opponent with some impressive shot-making.
“Am I playing Superman right now?” asked a bemused Tiafoe.
Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk clinched the day’s big shock by downing Greek eighth seed Maria Sakkari 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a first round tie twice interrupted by rain.
“I was like numb in a way. So I had a really good cry both times, that helped, because I was desperate,” said Kostyuk as she explained the turnaround.
Canada’s Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up to Murray but now ranked at 849, defeated Austria’s Dennis Novak in four sets for his first win at the tournament in four years.
Ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova, widely seen as a contender for a third women’s title, edged out Jasmine Paolini of Italy, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
The veteran Czech arrived at the All England Club fresh from winning her sixth career grass-court title in Berlin.
Wimbledon results on Wednesday, the third day of the 2023 tournament at the All England Club (x denotes seeding; Players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of their countries).
Men’s singles first round
Alexandre Muller (FRA) bt Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Frances Tiafoe (USA x10) bt Wu Yibing (CHN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-4
Dominic Stricker (SUI) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
Ilya Ivashka bt Federico Coria (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x21) bt Sho Shimabukuro (JPN) 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
Holger Rune (DEN x6) bt George Loffhagen (GBR) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-2
Daniil Medvedev (x3) bt Arthur Fery (GBR) 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) bt Alexander Shevchenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Marcos Giron (USA) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-4
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Tallon Griekspoor (NED x28) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Francisco Cerundolo (ARG x18) bt Nuno Borges (POR) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
Jiri Lehecka (CZE) bt Sebastian Ofner (AUT) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN) bt Dennis Novak (AUT) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1
Tommy Paul (USA x16) bt Shintaro Mochizuki (JPN) 7-5, 6-3, 6-1
Christopher Eubanks (USA) bt Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3
Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Sebastian Korda (USA x22) 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Ben Shelton (USA x32) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3
Laslo Djere (SRB) bt Maxime Cressy (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (9/7)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT) 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (10/8)
Taylor Fritz (USA x9) bt Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Guido Pella (ARG) bt Borna Coric (CRO x13) 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1
Harold Mayot (FRA) bt Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5
Roman Safiullin bt Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x20) 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-5
Denis Shapovalov (CAN x26) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
Grégoire Barrère (FRA) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-3
Men’s singles second round
Jannik Sinner (ITA x8) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 7-5, 6-1, 6-2
Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
Women’s singles first round
Danielle Collins (USA) bt Julia Grabher (AUT) 6-4, 6-4
Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) bt Camila Osorio (COL) 6-3, 6-4
Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2, 6-3
Donna Vekic (CRO x20) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2, 6-3
Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Lucrezia Stefanini (ITA) 6-4, 6-4
Bai Zhuoxuan (CHN) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 7-6 (7/0), 6-1
Natalija Stevanovic (SRB) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE x18) 6-2, 6-3
Tamara Korpatsch (GER) bt Carol Zhao (CAN) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
Petra Kvitova (CZE) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA x13) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
Jaqueline Cristian (ROM) bt Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) 6-3, 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x17) bt Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-1, 6-2
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) bt Bernarda Pera (USA x27) 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-3
Katie Boulter (GBR) bt Daria Saville (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2, 6-2
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x8) 0-6, 7-5, 6-2
Paula Badosa (ESP) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-3, 6-3
Madison Keys (USA x25) bt Sonay Kartal (GBR) 6-0, 6-3
Anastasia Potapova (x22) bt Céline Naef (SUI) 6-3, 6-3
Kaja Juvan (SLO) bt Margarita Gasparyan 6-0, 6-3
Mirra Andreeva bt Wang Xiyu (CHN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Barbora Krejcíková (CZE x10) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2, 7-5
Madison Brengle (USA) bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-3, 6-1
Ekaterina Alexandrova (x21) bt Emma Navarro (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Varvara Gracheva (FRA) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-2, 6-4
Women’s singles second round
Iga Swiatek (POL x1) bt Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-2, 6-0
Daria Kasatkina (x11) bt Jodie Burrage (GBR) 6-0, 6-2