Djokovic reaches Wimbledon quarters with injured shoulder
Novak Djokovic may wish he had as much time to prepare for his next match as he did for his previous one.
A lingering right shoulder injury flared up in Djokovic’s victory over 51st-ranked Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Tuesday, adding a measure of doubt to his quarterfinal match against 11th-seeded Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.
Djokovic, who won 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 under a closed roof at Centre Court, had his match delayed from the night before after Gilles Muller needed 4 hours, 48 minutes to defeat Rafael Nadal.
“It’s been something that I’ve been dragging back and forth for a while now,” said Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion and 12-time Grand Slam winner.
“But I’m still managing to play, which is the most important thing.”
Later, when asked in Serbian about the injury, Djokovic said through a translator: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
After Djokovic took a 4-3 lead in the third set, he called for a medical timeout and had a trainer work on his right shoulder. He also winced following the first serve of his third and final match point — a 24-shot rally that ended when Mannarino’s forehand went into the net.
The match between Djokovic and Mannarino was originally scheduled for No. 1 Court on Monday, but Muller’s victory, which ended after 8:30 p.m., led to the decision to push it back a day.
Djokovic said he and Mannarino were in communication with tournament organizers throughout the evening. They were told fan safety was the reason why they did not move the match to Centre Court, which was vacant after Roger Federer’s three-set victory over Grigor Dimitrov.
“I just think it was a wrong decision not to play us last night, because we could have played,” Djokovic said.
“I think the last match on the Centre Court was done before 7. Having in mind that Centre Court has the roof and lights, we could have played ‘til 11. I just didn’t see any logic in not playing us on the Centre Court.”
Rain began to fall on Tuesday about 30 minutes before Djokovic and Mannarino were to begin, and as others were suspended, they played the first match of the tournament under the roof.
Djokovic broke his opponent twice in the first set and took a 4-1 lead in the second before Mannarino, who matched his best finish in a Grand Slam event by reaching the fourth round, broke back and then forced the tiebreaker.
Novak Djokovic returns to Adrian Mannarino during their Men’s Singles Match on day eight at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on Tuesday.