Djokovic survives late night at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England — Novak Djokovic holds one record at Wimbledon that he wasn't in any mood to break on Wednesday. In fact, he seemed in quite a hurry to fall short.

Djokovic had another late night underneath the Centre Court roof but made sure he didn't have to stay quite as long as two years ago by wrapping up a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ryan Harrison of the United States in just under two hours.

The top-ranked Serb is in the Wimbledon history books for having won the match with the latest finish ever in a tournament that began in 1877, a five-set victory over Olivier Rochus that finished at 10:59 p.m. in the first round in 2010.

He was tested again by Harrison but showed his sharpness in key moments to eliminate the American just before 10 p.m. local time.

"We went the distance until 10 o'clock in the night and played under the roof. It was a different condition," the defending champion said. "It was a really enjoyable match."

The match had a late starting time as it was the fourth of the day to be played on Centre Court — instead of the regular three — as Wimbledon played a bit of catch-up because of rain delays. Roger Federer needed less than 80 minutes to wrap up an easy win in the first, playing in front of Prince Charles who made his first visit to the tournament since 1970. Caroline Wozniacki then wasted two match points before losing in three sets to Tamira Paszek in a first-round match that had been suspended on Tuesday, before Kim Clijsters reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Andrea Hlavackova.

So by the time Djokovic was wrapping up his match, there was total darkness outside the Centre Court, where floodlights illuminated the white retractable roof and hundreds of seats were gaping empty as some fans had already gone home.

Federer had a much easier time, beating Fognini 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.

Shortly after Federer's victory, rain interrupted play, and the retractable roof on Centre Court was closed for the first time in the tournament. When play resumed, Wozniacki lost 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4 to Paszek, her first opening-round exit in a Grand Slam since the 2007 French Open.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur also lost, as did 2011 French Open winner Li Na. More than a dozen matches on outside courts were postponed until today.

Top-ranked Maria Sharapova led 7-6 (3), 3-1 when her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova was suspended because of darkness.

Today, Serena Williams plays Melinda Czink of Hungary, Rafael Nadal faces Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic and defending women's champion Petra Kvitova takes on Elena Baltacha of Britain.

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