LONDON, July 1 (AFP): Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday with a win over Jarkko Nieminen which brought down the curtain on the Finn�s All England Club career.
Top seed Djokovic, who won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, will take on Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic for a place in the last 16 as the Serb continues his bid to win a third Wimbledon and ninth Grand Slam crown.
It was Djokovic�s sixth career win in seven meetings against the 33-year-old Nieminen and the two men exchanged a warm embrace at the net once their 92-minute Centre Court duel had ended.
�It was his last Wimbledon so I congratulated him on a great career,� said Djokovic. �He�s been around for many years and he�s one of the nicest guys off the court and a great fighter on it. It was a pleasure to play him.�
Djokovic overcame a break early in the first set but from then on it was plain sailing for the champion who finished with an impressive 36 winners.
�I was solid throughout. He broke early on but I regrouped and played some good tennis,� added Djokovic.
Nieminen, whose best performance at the All England Club was a quarter-final run in 2006, had ended the Wimbledon career of 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
After his own curtain call on Wednesday, he placed a kiss on the Centre Court grass as the fans gave him and the champion a standing ovation.
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova entered the third round defeating R Hogenkamp 6-3, 6-1.