Defending champion Novak Djokovic and women's fourth seed Maria Sharapova breezed through their second-round matches on a sweltering Wednesday at Wimbledon where temperatures soared to a record 35.7 degrees Celsius.
Defending champion and top seed Djokovic reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory over soon-to-retire Jarkko Nieminen, bringing down the curtain on the Finn's All England Club career. Djokovic will take on Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic for a place in the last 16 as the Serb continues his bid to win a third Wimbledon and ninth Grand Slam crown.
It was Djokovic's sixth career win in seven meetings against the 33-year-old Nieminen and the two men exchanged a warm embrace at the net once their 92-minute Centre Court duel had ended. "It was his last Wimbledon so I congratulated him on a great career," said Djokovic after firing 36 winners.
"He's been around for many years and he's one of the nicest guys off the court and a great fighter on it. It was a pleasure to play him."
Tomic made the third round by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (5), after which the Australian said he was 'dizzy' in the second set.
2004 champion Sharapova outclassed Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour and next faces Romanian 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu. Sharapova, 28, hit 23 winners as she booked her place in the third round.
With temperatures at Wimbledon beating the previous high mark of 34.6 degrees Celsius in 1976 -- the tournament heat rule was being used in women's matches. That allows a 10-minute break between the second and third sets although the rule does not apply to men.
However, Djokovic, who has played in 40-degree conditions at the Australian Open, said: "It wasn't as bad as I thought. People were talking about it and predicting really difficult conditions. But I didn't find it as difficult as I thought it might be."
Fifth-seeded Nishikori had been scheduled to face Colombian world number 60 Santiago Giraldo on Centre Court for a place in the last 32. But the 25-year-old admitted that the left calf injury he suffered last month in Halle, which had forced him to retire in the semi-finals, was still a factor during his five-set win over Simone Bolelli in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday.
"It got worse in the fifth set of that match, it hurt so much," said Nishikori. "It hurt to walk and run today so I decided not to play."
As Giraldo goes on to face either German teenager Alexander Zverev or American wildcard Denis Kudla for a third round spot, Nishikori was left contemplating another injury setback in his career.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates winning a point during his second-round men's singles match against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, on July 1, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
Raonic to face Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios, the temperamental Australian who knocked out Rafael Nadal last year, ranted and raved at officials for the second match in succession as he beat Argentina's Juan Monaco 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-4. The 26th seed faces Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic, who hit the third-fastest serve of 145mph in Wimbledon history in his 6-0, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4) win over 37-year-old German Tommy Haas.
Raonic hit 29 aces and 61 winners. Raonic beat Kyrgios in the qaurter-finals in 2014 en route to the semi-finals.
Later on Wednesday, fourth seed and French Open champion Stan Wawrinka takes on world number 48 Victor Estrella Burgos, only the second Dominican Republic player to take part in a Grand Slam. Wawrinka recorded his best Wimbledon performance by reaching the quarter-finals in 2014.
Five-time women's champion and top seed Serena Williams faces Hungary's Timea Babos as she continues her bid to sweep a calendar Grand Slam and a 21st major.
In other early second round matches, Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated Steve Johnson of the United States 7-6 (8), 6-2, 7-6 (2), Belgian 16th seed David Goffin saw off Britain's Liam Broady 7-6 (3), 6-1, 6-1 and French 21st seed Richard Gasquet got the better of compatriot Kenny De Schepper 6-0, 6-3, 6-3.