Jannik Sinner sails past Miomir Kecmanovic to keep Wimbledon title bid on track

Jannik Sinner comfortably kept himself on course for a semi-final showdown with reigning Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz by rushing into round four with a routine win over Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

The 22-year-old world number one edged a late-night all-Italian thriller against 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini to book a last-32 meeting with Novak Djokovic’s Davis Cup team-mate.

His latest Centre Court appointment proved to be a far more straightforward affair as he dispatched world number 52 Kecmanovic 6-1 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 36 minutes.

The Australian Open champion will next face former All England Club semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov or American world number 14 Ben Shelton, with title rival Alcaraz potentially awaiting two rounds later.

“I’m very happy about my performance, I felt like I was hitting the ball with a very good pace,” said Sinner.

“Thanks everyone for staying – I know it has been a very, very busy day here on the Centre Court so I’m glad to finish it off and let’s see what’s coming in the next round.”

Sinner was again made to wait for an outing under the roof as Alcaraz sweated it out in an epic five-setter against Frances Tiafoe before Emma Raducanu claimed a comparatively swift success over Maria Sakkari.

“It’s obviously a long time to wait,” continued Sinner. “But it’s obviously a huge honor and big honor to play on this court.

“The first match was very long with Carlos. It was a great match, entertaining to watch. Then was a good match from the women’s side.

“I was excited to step on court. Centre Court, you never have to take this court for granted. It’s obviously a huge pleasure for me to stay there. It was fun.”

The Italian looked like a man in a hurry and wasted little time in asserting his authority over an opponent who had failed to beat him in three previous meetings.

World number 52 Miomir Kecmanovic
World number 52 Miomir Kecmanovic put a fight in the second set but was powerless to prevent defeat (Zac Goodwin/PA)

A fine backhand winner secured a break of serve at the earliest opportunity before a similar effort gained further approval from a crowd which had significantly diminished following Raducanu’s straight-sets romp.

Sinner’s dominance was initially not reflected on the scoreboard due to a technical fault but he was clearly focused on on-court matters as he wrapped up the opening set in 21 minutes.

While Kecmanovic, a former world junior number one, won only 10 points in set one, he bettered that total inside four games of a far more competitive second which remained on serve until the top seed eventually pulled clear in game nine by breaking from 40-15 down.

Sinner was unquestionably a class above and looked relatively untroubled throughout while dipping into his extensive repertoire when required to secure a smooth progression to the last 16.

“It feels great to be back here, it’s a very, very special place, if not the most special place to play tennis, and I love the atmosphere here so this all combined makes me very happy,” he added.