Djokovic speeds into quarters
London - Novak Djokovic rediscovered his swagger as he brushed aside France's Michael Llodra at Wimbledon on Monday to set up a quarter-final clash with the teenager whose inventive shot-making has lit up the championships.
The Serbian second seed, who experienced the full gamut of emotions in his third-round victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Saturday, remained assuredly placid as he coolly disposed of his French opponent 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in just one hour and 41 minutes.
Djokovic will now face his friend and hitting partner Bernard Tomic, who at 18 became the youngest player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Boris Becker in 1986.
The Australian came through qualifying and is ranked 158th in the world but he showcased his armoury in dispatching Xavier Malisse in straight sets on Monday.
"I think he has a great potential, he is a great talent," a relaxed Djokovic told reporters.
"He believes that he can win against the top players, and he has done that very comfortably in the last couple of rounds here.
"He loves playing on grass and if you analyse his game, he loves playing on the fast surfaces.
"He doesn't give you a lot of time, he serves really well and he doesn't make many unforced errors."
Djokovic, who suffered a second-set wobble against Baghdatis, was in no mood for messing around in his fourth-round clash.
Amid the stifling humidity on Court One, the Frenchman was caught cold as Djokovic broke to love in the second game and raced into a 3-0 lead in just five minutes. He closed out the opener 23 minutes later with his serve untroubled.
Llodra, who was playing in round four for the first time in 11 Wimbledon appearances, doggedly persisted with his serve and volley tactics but with only sporadic success.
Djokovic had the better of the vast majority of backcourt exchanges and turned the screw still further when he broke in the seventh game of the second set.
Llodra netted a simple smash and two easy volleys to gift Djokovic a 4-3 lead and a measure of the control wielded by the Serb was his gracious round of applause as the Frenchman pulled off a neat drop volley when trailing 5-3 in the second.
Llodra's inconsistency at the net caused him to fluff a smash that gave Djokovic love-30 in the ninth game of the final set and the decisive break arrived two points later when Djokovic dispatched a cross-court backhand.
Djokovic was punching the air and beating his chest soon after, having wrapped up an easy victory with a forehand winner.
"It felt great, especially after the long match that I had against Baghdatis," Djokovic said.
"To come out and play as well as I did today is definitely an encouraging fact at the beginning of the second week.