London, Great Britain, 5 July 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Australian players faced a vast array of challenges on day three at Wimbledon 2023. There were rain delays, difficult opponents and even an on-court protest.

Jordan Thompson produced a gallant effort in his maiden Centre Court appearance, firing 21 aces and tallying 43 winners in a second-round clash against second seed Novak Djokovic. But it wasn’t enough to stop the seven-time champion.

“Congratulations to him for a great performance,” Djokovic said of the 29-year-old Australian in his on-court interview.

“He was a bit unlucky in the second set, he had some chances, but he played a great match.”

Djokovic’s 6-3 7-6(4) 7-5 victory propelled him into the third round at the All England Club for an incredible 17th time.

It was also Djokovic’s 350th career Grand Slam main-draw singles victory. The 36-year-old from Serbia becomes only the third player (behind Roger Federer and Serena Williams) to reach that milestone.

Dominic Stricker, a 20-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, recorded a 3-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 7-5 victory against Alexei Popyrin in an epic first-round battle.

The 23-year-old Australian squandered a 4-1 lead in the deciding set, with world No.117 Stricker winning six of the final seven games to notch his first Grand Slam main-draw victory.

Daria Saville, Australia’s last hope in the ladies’ singles competition, also bowed out.

The 29-year-old resumed her rain-delayed first-round match against British No.1 Katie Boulter holding a 6-5 lead.

However, Saville was unable to build on her promising start.

Saville was leading 4-2 in the opening-set tiebreak when an on-court protest briefly paused the match.

“It was upsetting,” admitted Saville, who assisted tournament staff to remove scattered confetti left on the court by the protester.

“I was like ‘Oh, my God, why on my court out of all of them?’ I’m the worst with being able to refocus.”

From there, world No.89 Boulter, the girlfriend of Australia’s Alex de Minaur, took control to triumph 7-6(4) 6-2.

Fading light prevented De Minaur, Jason Kubler and Chris O’Connell from completing their opening-round matches.

The good news is all were leading when play was suspended.

> READ: Eight Australians in action on day four at Wimbledon 2023

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Gentlemen’s singles, second round
[2] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 7-6(4) 7-5

Gentlemen’s singles, first round
[Q] Dominic Stricker (SUI) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 3-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 7-5

Ladies’ singles, first round
[WC] Katie Boulter (GBR) d Daria Saville (AUS) 7-6(4) 6-2

Gentlemen’s singles, first round
[15] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 to finish
Jason Kubler (AUS) v Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-4 4-6 6-2 to finish 
Chris O’Connell (AUS)
v [Q] Hamad Medjedovic (SRB) 7-5 6-4 to finish

Gentlemen’s singles, second round
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Quentin Halys (FRA)

> READ: De Minaur to make mixed doubles debut at Wimbledon

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