Wimbledon 2022: Djokovic ends van Rijthoven’s fairytale run

Djokovic will play Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner for a place in Friday’s semi-finals after the 20-year-old ousted fifth-seeded Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the previous contest on Centre Court.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

LONDON: Top seed Novak Djokovic raised his level to put an end to the fairytale run of Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven during a battling 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory on Sunday and keep his Wimbledon title defence on track.

Chasing a fourth straight Wimbledon crown and seventh overall at the grasscourt major, Djokovic is now unbeaten on the manicured lawns of the All England Club since retiring due to an elbow injury against Tomas Berdych in the 2017 quarter-finals.

Djokovic will play Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner for a place in Friday’s semi-finals after the 20-year-old ousted fifth-seeded Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the previous contest on Centre Court.

“He (van Rijthoven) was on a streak on this surface and I knew that it was not going to be easy with that serve and a lot of talent, great touch, powerful forehand. He can do a lot of damage. It took me a little bit of time to get used to his pace,” said Serb Djokovic after his win.

Garin into last-eight after epic battle

Chile’s Cristian Garin showed amazing tenacity to come from two sets and 0-3 down, and save two match points as he beat Australian Alex de Minaur in a hugely entertaining five-set slug fest to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. Garin eventually triumphed 2-6, 5-7 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(6) after four hours and 34 minutes of superb tennis that brought a standing ovation from Wimbledon’s packed Number Two Court.

The two men hammered at each other, with only a handful of first-serve winners but with a sprinkling of classy drop shots and volleys in among the relentlessly accurate ground strokes and lung-busting chasing to reach them.

Kyrgios survives a scare

Nick Kyrgios battled past Brandon Nakashima over five absorbing sets to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for only the second time.

Kyrgios was on his best behaviour in front of the Royal Box as he ground out a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2 win. After the mayhem of Saturday, when Kyrgios was accused by Stefanos Tsitsipas of being a bully, he let his tennis do the talking against the 20-year-old Nakashima.

He barely uttered a word in anger throughout a contest that contained few of the fireworks usually associated with the Australian. If anything, the World No.40 looked subdued in the opening set and appeared to be bothered by a stiff shoulder. Two forehand errors at 4-5 gifted Nakashima the first set as Kyrgios looked in danger of an anti-climactic exit.

But he broke serve for 2-1 in the second set and, after having treatment on his shoulder, gradually cranked up the power.

RESULTS: Men’s singles: Round-of-16: N Kyrgios bt B Nakashima 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2; C Garin bt A de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-6); N Djokovic bt T van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; T Fritz bt J Kubler 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Women’s singles: Round-of-16: E Rybakina bt P Martic 7-5, 6-3

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