Djokovic reaches Wim­ble­don quar­ters with in­jured shoul­der

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY ZAC BOYER

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.

AP PHOTO

No­vak Djokovic re­turns to Adrian Man­nar­ino dur­ing their Men’s Sin­gles Match on day eight at the Wim­ble­don Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don on Tues­day.

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