Novak Djokovic has served notice to Olympic organisers that they had better have Serbia’s national anthem on standby for Saturday.
The second-seed was ruthless in his dismissal of former No.1 Andy Roddick, dropping just three games in their Round of 32 clash and while still a long way off having the gold medal hanging around his neck, his performance was enough to suggest it would come as little surprise.
“It was the perfect match in every sense. I delivered my best game, I think, so far this year on grass courts," Djokovic said.
“I didn’t expect to serve as many aces, but both of my matches that I’ve played here I’ve served really, really well. So that’s something encouraging for the next challenge.”
After a shaky first-round effort against Fabio Fognini, Djokovic barely gave Roddick a sniff of a chance under the roof of Centre Court on Tuesday.
With the American – playing what will surely be his last Olympic Games – serving, Djokovic somehow got a racket to a 215km/h bomb after being wrong-footed. The return dropped on Roddick’s baseline before he eventually hooked the ball wide to concede the first break of the opening set.
Watched on by Denmark’s Prince Frederick and Monaco’s Prince Albert, Djokovic put on an impressive display, reeling off four points in a row on the Roddick serve to secure the first set 6-2 after 28 minutes.
“If he is hitting the ball like that, my chance is to serve really well. I didn’t serve great today," Roddick said. "I hit the ball fine, [but] he was just too good from the baseline. He was seeing it like a basketball today.”
Everything his opponent tried, Djokovic matched, or bettered.
To bring up match point he hit a drop shot, with the American doing well to run it down before hitting what looked like a sure drop-shot winner in reply. The Serbian somehow mowed it down and flicked the ball crosscourt for the winner, raising his arms in triumph at the net.
He wouldn’t have to wait long to punch the air in jubilation once more. Three points later he sealed the match with an ace in under an hour for a third-round match against Australian Lleyton Hewitt.