Wimbledon: Djokovic eases into his 50th grand slam quarter-final

Straight-sets victory for world number one over Cristian Garin on Centre Court

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning against Chile’s Cristian Garin at Wimbledon. Photograph: Getty Images

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning against Chile’s Cristian Garin at Wimbledon. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Half an hour into his defence of the men’s singles title, Novak Djokovic was a set behind against Britain’s Jack Draper, but his tennis has been flawless ever since and the top seed breezed into his 12th Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday, brushing aside Cristian Garín, the No 17 seed, in under two hours on Centre Court.

This was Djokovic’s third straight-sets success in a row after that minor hiccup on day one, secured without the odds-on favourite for the title being particularly troubled.

Garín did not help his cause by opening the match with a double-fault and then losing his serve to love but the champion was operating at a superhuman level throughout the first set, making almost three in four of his first serves and winning every point when he did.

The Chilean clung on through the first eight games of the second set but a double-fault at 4-4 brought up two break points and Djokovic required only one, securing the break with a drop-shot at the net. From there, the Serb lost only five points on serve on the way to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 success.

“Today was a very solid performance from the first to last point,” he said afterwards. “I was mentally present. I was serving much better, using the court well.

“When I’m able to serve well, get a lot of free points on my first serve, it just gives me more confidence, allows me to relax a bit more on the return games and from the back of the court.”

Djokovic will meet the unseeded Marton Fucsovics in Wednesday’s quarter-final after he dispatched Andrey Rublev, the No 5 seed, in five sets. Fucsovics, who accounted for the No 9 seed Diego Schwartzman in the third round, was 2-1 down at 6-3, 4-6, 4-6 down but won the final two sets 6-0, 6-4 and will be appearing in his first grand slam quarter-final, at the 17th attempt.

Another significant seed in the top half of the draw also departed on Monday, as the 10th-seeded Denis Shapovalov, a straight-sets winner against Andy Murray on Friday, eased past Roberto Bautista Agut, a semi-finalist two years ago, 6-1, 6-3, 7-5. He will play his first Wimbledon quarter-final against Karen Khachanov, who also advanced past the fourth round for the first time after an epic final set against Sebastian Korda, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8.

While it will require a huge upset to stop Djokovic reaching his seventh final, the bottom half of the draw looks less clear-cut, although Matteo Berrettini, the winner at Queen’s Club last month, made short work of his match with Ilya Ivashka, easing through in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in under two hours.

“I feel I am playing for sure the best tennis of my career,” Berrettini said, after the No 7 seed extending his current winning sequence on grass courts to nine matches. Two years ago he reached the fourth round. “In 2019 I was playing good, but everything was kind of new. Now I have more confidence for sure, more experience as well.”

Berrettini, another player looking forward to his first Wimbledon quarter-final, will go into his match on Wednesday fresh and full of confidence after seeing the fourth seed Alexander Zverev knocked out in five tough sets by the No 16 seed, Félix Auger-Aliassime.

Germany’s Zverev struggled badly with his serve in the opening set and his eighth double-fault handed Auger-Aliassime a set point, which his opponent gratefully converted. Having retrieved a break in the second set, the Canadian won it on a tie-break before Zverev finally came to life, winning the next two sets 6-3 to take it to a decider.

The 20-year-old held his nerve after a rain delay and also after missing a big chance to go 3-0 up with two breaks in the decider, eventually recovering from 2-3 to emerge victorious 6-4, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4. - Guardian

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