Djokovic and Fed­erer into the fourth round

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING - By Howard Fendrich

LON­DON» All it took was a cou­ple of ques­tion­able calls for Novak Djokovic to snap at the chair um­pire in the sec­ond game of his third-round match at Wimbledon.

“That’s two points in a row at the be­gin­ning of the match,” Djokovic said, be­fore telling of­fi­cial Jake Garner: “Fo­cus, please!”

That would have been good ad­vice for Djokovic him­self. Maybe he was on edge be­cause this was the stage at which, as a two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion, he lost at the All Eng­land Club a year ago. On Satur­day, Djokovic briefly fell be­hind by an early break be­fore zip­ping past Ernests Gul­bis of Latvia 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (2) to earn his 10th berth in the tour­na­ment’s sec­ond week.

Right after his, er, con­ver­sa­tion with Garner, Djokovic lost a service game to trail 2-1. He later fell be­hind 4-2 in the open­ing set. But from there, Djokovic used a nine-game run to seize con­trol and wasn’t bro­ken again.

“As soon as you give a guy like Novak the tools to step on the gas, he will step on the gas,” said Gul­bis, who has been a top-10 player and a French Open semi­fi­nal­ist but missed chunks of time be­cause of in­juries, drop­ping his rank­ing out­side the top 500. “And he just goes, and he doesn’t look back.”

Three of Djokovic’s 12 ma­jor cham­pi­onships have come at Wimbledon, and he has not dropped a set so far this tour­na­ment.

“That only can boost my con­fi­dence level,” the No. 2-seeded Djokovic said.”

All 16 fourth-round sin­gles matches are sched­uled for Mon­day — Wimbledon is the only ma­jor that does it that way — in­clud­ing these in the bot­tom half of the men’s draw: No. 3 Roger Fed­erer vs. No. 13 Grigor Dim­itrov; 2016 run­ner-up Mi­los Raonic vs. No. 10 Alexan­der Zverev; and 2010 run­ner-up To­mas Berdych vs. No. 8 Do­minic Thiem.

Fed­erer, like Djokovic, has won ev­ery set he’s played this week, in­clud­ing Satur­day’s 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 win against No. 27 Mis­cha Zverev, Alexan­der’s older, left-handed, serve-and-vol­ley­ing brother.

Women’s fourth-round matches in­clude: five-time cham­pion Venus Wil­liams vs. No. 27 Ana Kon­juh; No. 1 An­gelique Kerber vs. No. 14 Gar­bine Mugu­ruza and No. 2 Si­mona Halep vs. two-time Aus­tralian Open cham­pion Vic­to­ria Azarenka.

Re­sults »

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Ser­bia’s Novak Djokovic serves against Latvia’s Ernests Gul­bis dur­ing their third-round sin­gles match. Djokovic de­feated Gul­bis 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (2) to ad­vance.

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