Djokovic into Wim­ble­don last-16 for 10th time

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Three-time cham­pion No­vak Djokovic reached the Wim­ble­don fourth round for the 10th time yes­ter­day with a 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) win over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. Second seed Djokovic will play France’s Adrian Man­nar­ino for a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“I’m de­lighted with the per­for­mance to­day. I thought I raised the level of ten­nis,” said Djokovic af­ter mak­ing the second week with­out drop­ping a set. “Com­par­ing to the first cou­ple of matches and the last cou­ple of weeks I think this was the most fo­cused I was on the court.”

Gulbis, now ranked at a lowly 589 af­ter once reach­ing 10 in the world in 2014 when he de­feated Roger Fed­erer on his way to the French Open semi-fi­nals, fired 37 un­forced er­rors to Djokovic’s mea­gre 12. “It’s not easy ob­vi­ously play­ing on grass against a big server like that,” said Djokovic of his child­hood friend Gulbis. “I’m very pleased with the way I’ve felt, the way I’ve played.”

Top seed An­gelique Ker­ber scraped into the Wim­ble­don last 16 yes­ter­day as Roger Fed­erer and No­vak Djokovic hoped for an eas­ier ride into the busi­ness end of the cham­pi­onships. Ker­ber looked might­ily re­lieved af­ter sav­ing her world num­ber one sta­tus in a tense 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 win over US world num­ber 70 Shelby Rogers.

The Ger­man star was a break down in the second set but did just enough to claw her way into Mon­day’s fourth round where she will face Gar­bine Mugu­ruza. Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska, Svet­lana Kuznetsova, Coco Van­deweghe, Mag­dalena Ry­barikova and qual­i­fier Pe­tra Mar­tic also won their third round ties.

In the men’s draw, Fed­erer was to take on Mis­cha Zverev. Sam Querrey took one game to beat Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga in a match sus­pended Fri­day due to bad light, while Grigor Dim­itrov made it through af­ter op­po­nent Dudi Sela pulled out-the 11th re­tire­ment at the cham­pi­onships.

ONE-GAME WON­DER

Querrey and Tsonga’s match was called off at 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-5, with the French 12th seed not want­ing to serve as the light faded, though Querrey was happy to re­ceive. They re­turned to fin­ish the con­test on Satur­day but it was all over in a mat­ter of min­utes as the US 24th seed broke serve. “My op­po­nent was good to­day. He did three, four good shots, and yeah, that’s it,” said Tsonga.

Querrey said: “It’s re­ally the most anti-cli­mac­tic way to fin­ish a match.” He faces South Africa’s Kevin An­der­son for a quar­ter-fi­nal spot. Bul­gar­ian 13th seed Dim­itrov had an easy ride into the last 16 when Is­raeli Sela was forced to pull out at 6-1, 6-1 down af­ter strug­gling with a right thigh in­jury that re­quired treat­ment dur­ing the match.

The 2008 Wim­ble­don ju­nior cham­pion will next face meet ei­ther Fed­erer or Mis­cha Zverev. Cana­dian sixth seed Mi­los Raonic, last year’s beaten fi­nal­ist, downed Spain’s 25th seed Al­bert Ramos-Vi­no­las 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 7-5 to book a fouth round spot against ei­ther Alexan­der Zverev or qual­i­fier Se­bas­tian Ofner.

MAT­TEK-SANDS RELIVES HOR­ROR

Mugu­ruza stepped up her bid to re­turn to the Wim­ble­don fi­nal with a 6-2, 6-2 vic­tory over Ro­ma­nia’s So­rana Cirstea.

The world num­ber 15 be­came the first Span­ish woman to reach the All Eng­land Club ti­tle match in 19 years when she was beaten by Ser­ena Wil­liams in the 2015 fi­nal. “Ev­ery time I start the grass sea­son, I’m like, ‘How the hell did I reach that fi­nal?’,” the 2016 French Open win­ner said. An off-sorts Cirstea had wit­nessed the hor­rific knee in­jury suf­fered by her op­po­nent Bethanie Mat­tek-Sands in the pre­vi­ous round on Thurs­day. Mat­tek-Sands broke down in tears as she re­lived the sick­en­ing in­jury which has left her fac­ing surgery to re­pair a dis­lo­cated kneecap.

“I re­mem­ber I heard a pop in my leg and ev­ery­thing went slow af­ter that,” the Amer­i­can said Satur­day from her hos­pi­tal room in Wim­ble­don. “I have had lots of in­juries in my ca­reer but this is def­i­nitely the worst. “I will be out for a while but I will get through this.”

RAD­WAN­SKA DIGS DEEP

The deft Rad­wan­ska, who lost the 2012 fi­nal to Ser­ena Wil­liams, came back from a set down to beat Swiss 19th seed Timea Bac­sin­szky 3-6, 64, 6-1 on Cen­tre Court. “I ex­pected a lot of tricky shots from her and a lot of en­ter­tain­ing ral­lies,” said the Pol­ish ninth seed.

Rad­wan­ska next faces Rus­sian eighth seed Kuznetsova, the 2004 US and 2009 French Open cham­pion, who cruised through with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Slove­nian qual­i­fier Polona Hercog. “I am a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed as I didn’t keep my level up through­out the whole match but if you had said I would make the third round of the main draw I would have been happy,” Hercog told AFP.

Van­deweghe, con­sid­ered by some as a dark horse for the ti­tle, beat com­pa­triot Ali­son Riske 6-2, 6-4. She next faces Caro­line Woz­ni­acki or Anett Kon­taveit. Croa­tia’s Mar­tic is the last qual­i­fier still go­ing at Wim­ble­don af­ter beat­ing Kaza­khstani wild card Za­rina Diyas 7-6 (8/6), 6-1. The world num­ber 135 is the low­est-ranked woman left in the tour­na­ment.

She next faces Ry­barikova, who eased into the last 16 of a ma­jor for the first time with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Le­sia Tsurenko of Ukraine.

—AFP

WIM­BLE­DON: Ser­bia’s No­vak Djokovic re­turns against Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis dur­ing their men’s sin­gles third round match on the sixth day of the 2017 Wim­ble­don Cham­pi­onships at The All Eng­land Lawn Ten­nis Club in Wim­ble­don, south­west Lon­don, yes­ter­day.

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