LONDON – Novak Djokovic has been visiting a Buddhist Temple in an effort to escape the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a grand slam, the Serb said after bringing calm to Wimbledon with a comfortable straight sets win on Thursday.
The world No 1 moved seamlessly into the third round by beating 30-year-old American qualifier Bobby Reynolds 7-6(2) 6-3 6-1, restoring order to the All England Club after the previous day's fireworks.
In the wake of "Wipeout Wednesday", when seeds were humbled and successive players tumbled on the slippery grass, Djokovic was asked about his trips to a local Buddhist centre.
"It's very calm and quiet, obviously," he said. "I stay in a house which is very nearby. This is a usual place which we all visit.
"We like Wimbledon and London in general because there are so many beautiful parks and nature, places which you can call get-aways during these two weeks of a hectic grand slam atmosphere.
"Obviously, there is a huge amount of pressure and stress and everything involved, so you need to have a place where you know you can switch off and recharge your batteries…
"I can't talk much about that. I guess it's private, in a way. But I just can say that it's a very calm and very beautiful environment where I like to spend time."
There was nothing quiet about Centre Court with its roof closed to guard against the British weather, as the rain came down and brought a halt to the action on the outside courts.
Against an opponent ranked 156th in the world, there was little realistic chance of an upset but, after Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal made an early exit, there was at least an edge to the match in the early stages.
After coming through a first set tiebreak, Djokovic broke twice in the second and twice more in the third, before wrapping up victory in one hour 54 minutes with an easy volley put-away.
The Serb was business-like without needing to showcase the spectacular.
"I think the fact that the top players lost in the last few days gives enough reason for all of us to not underestimate any opponent and not look that far," he added.
He will now face either France's Jeremy Chardy or German Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round. – Reuters