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By Ed Osmond
LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic gave himself seven or eight marks out of 10 after outclassing Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-2 6-3 on a scorching Centre Court to move safely into the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.
The world number one and top seed dropped serve in the opening game and was largely subdued in a performance littered with uncharacteristic errors.
Serb Djokovic was still far too good for 33-year-old world number 92 Nieminen, who was playing in his final Wimbledon, and the defending champion was satisfied with his day’s work.
“I would rate probably around seven or eight. I think it was a very solid performance,” Djokovic told reporters.
“I’ve done just enough to win in straight sets.”
Nieminen came out with all guns blazing and reeled off a succession of rasping groundstrokes to win the first two games.
“He started off very well, very aggressive, winners in the first couple games,” Djokovic said.
“I managed to stay calm and believe I can come back. That’s what I’ve done.”
Djokovic broke back for 3-3 and took Nieminen’s serve again to seal the opening set.
“I think the crucial turning point was the 10th game of the first set when I won the set and I started playing more freely,” he said.
“I thought I had the match under control and everything was fine.”
Djokovic will play Australian Bernard Tomic, the 27th seed, in the last 32 and is expecting his opponent to get raucous support from the hordes of green and gold-clad fans.
“It’s nice to see in the tennis that there are a group of guys coming to support their player,” he said.
“Tennis maybe misses that a little bit more, more of I’d say a Davis Cup atmosphere. But you get used to it once you play in front of them, which I’ve done in Australia quite a few times.”
Djokovic was taken to four sets by Tomic in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“He (Tomic) can play short slice, come to the net, Djokovic said. He has a very quick motion for the serve. It’s very difficult to read it on grass. I‘m not expecting anything easy there”
Editing by Gene Cherry