Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

Novak Djokovic took a massive step towards a seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday when he recovered from a mid-match blip defeat Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven and reached his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final.

Top seed Djokovic, looking to equal Pete Sampras as a seven-time champion at the All England Club, downed his 104th-ranked opponent 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

The Serb will face 10th seeded Jannik Sinner for a place in the semi-finals after the Italian knocked out Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3.

Djokovic played like a man on a mission in the final set, racing to finish the match in time for the 11pm curfew – though he conceded afterwards he did not know if that rule was still in place.

“He was a very tough opponent, and on a streak on this surface, so I knew it was not going to be easy with that serve and his touch and a lot of talent. It took me a little bit of time to get used to his pace and the conditions under the roof, but overall I closed out the match well. ”

The 20-year-old Italian, who had never won a grass court match before this year’s Wimbledon, becomes the youngest man in the last eight since Nick Kyrgios in 2014.

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Italy's Jannik Sinner celebrates beating Spain's Carlos Alcaraz.
Italy’s Jannik Sinner celebrates beating Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.Source: AFP

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Carlos is a very tough opponent and a nice person. It’s always a huge pleasure to play him, ”said Sinner after making the quarter-finals of a Slam for the third time.

Sinner needed six match points to seal the deal while Alcaraz was left to regret failing to convert any of his seven break points.

Djokovic reached his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final on a landmark day, with play scheduled on middle Sunday for the first time.

It has traditionally been a rest day with the exception of a handful of occasions when rain in the opening week forced a quick planning reset.

The action on Center Court was preceded by a parade of champions to mark the 100th anniversary of the stadium.

One of those was eight-time champion Federer, who is sitting out the 2022 championships as he continues his slow recovery from knee surgery.

However, he insisted that he plans to be back in 2023, even though he will be within sight of his 42nd birthday.

“I hope I can come back one more time,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner. “I’ve missed it here.”

Federer has been out of action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon last year before undergoing another bout of knee surgery.

“I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead,” Federer said.

“I maybe did not think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.”

By the time Federer returns next year, Djokovic could be a seven-time Wimbledon winner.

The 35-year-old dropped a set in his opening win over Kwon Soon-woo but has since coasted, losing just 14 games in the next two rounds.

He had a trickier time against van Rijthoven, who was ranked outside the top 200 just a month ago, but went to another level after a setback in the second set.

His 25th-straight victory at Wimbledon is fourth on the all-time list of consecutive wins.

Belgium’s David Goffin (L) shakes hands with US player Frances Tiafoe after an epic encounter.Source: AFP


Belgium’s David Goffin defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the longest match at this year’s Wimbledon to reach the quarter-finals.

Goffin, who also made the quarters on his last appearance in 2019, came out on top 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 after four hours and 36 minutes on Court Two.

The world number 58 will next face Britain’s Cameron Norrie who reached a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time, sweeping past Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.


After women’s top seed Iga Swiatek was knocked out Saturday, world number two Ons Jabeur stayed on course for a maiden Slam title.

The Tunisian made the last eight for a second successive year, beating Belgium’s Elise Mertens 7-6 (11/9), 6-4.

Jabeur, who will face Marie Bouzkova for a semi-final place, said she wanted to be a trailblazer for Arab and African players.

“I wish I could really give that message to the young generation not just from my country but from the African continent,” she said.

“I want to see more players here. I want them to believe more in themselves and believe they can be here.

“I do not come from a rich family so you have to stop finding excuses and just go for it, enjoy it.”

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur is making history.Source: AFP

– ‘Do not know how I got here’ –

Bouzkova, the world number 66 from the Czech Republic, breezed past Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-2.

Mother-of-two Tatjana Maria is also through to her first Slam quarter-final, 15 years after her debut.

The 34-year-old saved two match points to defeat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.

Maria, ranked 103, fired nine aces and exploited Ostapenko’s all-or-nothing approach, which resulted in 52 winners and 57 unforced errors.

“It makes me so proud to be a mum – that’s the best thing in the world,” said Maria, who only returned from a second maternity leave less than a year ago.

Ostapenko was far from happy at the loss, saying: “I’m really disappointed because I felt like I was like playing way better than she was. She got lucky, she framed it, put the ball on the line. She did not really do anything today. She was just waiting on my mistakes. ”

Maria will face fellow German Jule Niemeier for a place in the semi-finals after world number 97 beat Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 03: Tatjana Maria of Germany celebrates winning against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during their Women’s Singles Fourth Round match on day seven of The Wimbledon 2022 Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England . (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


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