Wimbledon Open: Djokovic through as stricken Klizan retires
Novak Djokovic is through to the second round of Wimbledon after Martin Klizan succumbed to a calf injury.
The Slovakian arrived on Centre Court with a heavily strapped left leg from a previous issue and was clearly in discomfort in front of the SW19 crowd on Tuesday.
To Klizan’s credit, he battled valiantly against the nagging problem, but called time when trailing 6-3 2-0 in the second set as Djokovic – aiming to do better than his shock third-round exit to Sam Querrey 12 months ago – went through.
Neither player had much of a sniff at their opponent’s serve in the early exchanges, but Klizan was struggling physically and Djokovic pounced in game eight.
After varying his stroke play to save a couple of break points, Klizan yielded at the third time of asking by skewing a forehand wide.
Djokovic, a victor in Eastbourne last week, duly served out the set with an ace and Klizan needed lengthy medical treatment before being broken at the first time of asking in set two.
Shortly after, Klizan decided that he could no longer play on, meaning Djokovic had a simple passage into round two, where Adam Pavlasek awaits.
An early exit for Martin Klizan, who is forced to retire due to injury against Novak Djokovic…#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/BbDjIQEOsY
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 4, 2017
“It was great to be back on the Centre Coure, it’s the cradle of tennis history right here, it’s a special feeling to walk on to this court,” he told BBC Sport.
“I got back many memories, I played many matches and got some trophies here.
“You never like to end a match this way but I heard Klizan had issues before walking on court.
“You could see he wasn’t moving. It’s just unfortunate, I didn’t want to finish this way because it’s Wimbledon.
“I wish him all the best. I’ll try to rest and recover, I had a lot of matches in Eastbourne.”