Wimbledon: Djokovic getting his mojo back
BORIS Becker spotted it and Novak Djokovic confirmed it - the Serb has his grand slam mojo back.
Watching from a commentary booth on centre court, Becker spied a marked improvement in his former charge's body language.
And, after a 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2) dismissal of Latvian wrecking ball Ernests Gulbis, Djokovic beamed with confidence.
"Boris knows me very well. So he's right when he says that the passion is back,” Djokovic said.
"I've been feeling better on the court as I said in the last couple of months. But especially on the grass court this season so far, every match that I've played, I felt very comfortable.
"Obviously when you're playing well, then you're feeling well, then you're even more, I guess, motivated, passionate to see how far it can take you.”
On a session where Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych all posted straight-set victories, Djokovic was elated with his clean display.
He credits the chemistry between his new coaches Andre Agassi and Mario Ancic for his resurgence.
"So far it's fantastic,” Djokovic said.
"Not just this tournament, but also in Paris. We spent a lot of quality time together on and off the court.
"But it's a bit different now in Wimbledon because both Mario and Andre are staying with me as far as I go in the tournament, where Andre in Paris had to leave earlier.
"I'm glad to have them both. I think they contribute in their own way to my game. But most of all, there is great chemistry, great synergy, great understanding, respect for each other.
" Mario has been my friend for very long time. I feel very relaxed next to him.
"And Andre, as well, is someone that has a personality that is very, very friendly, very kind, and at the same time very committed and professional.
"It didn't take us too much to really connect. Everything so far is working great.”
Djokovic will next face Adrian Mannarino - Wimbledon's most unpopular player.
The fiery Frenchman was fined $12,000 for barging into a ball boy during his second round match, a stunt which could have led to instant default.
He exploited the reprieve with a 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-2 win over compatriot Gael Monfils.
Federer swept imperiously into the fourth round here with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 triumph over German Mischa Zverev.
The grand slam record-holder will tomorrow night play Dimitrov after the Bulgarian advanced 6-1 6-1 when Israeli Dudi Sela succumbed to a thigh strain.
Dimitrov, the 2014 semi-finalist, advances to the fourth round for only the second time in his roller-coaster career.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bowed in a protracted clash with Sam Querrey.
Stranded at 5-6 down in the fifth set by bad light on Friday night, Tsonga dropped serve when the match resumed, losting 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-5.
Last season's runner-up Raonic progressed 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-5 over Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
The Canadian will play Alexander Zverev on Monday after the German eliminated Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner 6-4 6-4 6-2.
Thiem will clash with Berdych after beating American Jared Donaldson 7-5 6-4 6-2.
A finalist here in 2010, Berdych cruised past David Ferrer 6-3 6-4 6-3.