Djokovic in 13th Wimbledon quarters



The Manila Times


LONDON: Six-time champion Novak Djokovic reached his 13th Wimbledon quarterfinals on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as injurystricken rival Roger Federer revealed his desire to play at the All England Club “one more time.” Top seed Djokovic, seeking to move level with Pete Sampras as a seven-time champion, defeated Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. “He was very tough. I have never faced him before,” said Djokovic after racking up a 25th successive win on grass. “He has a great serve, powerful forehand and nice touch.” Earlier Sunday, 20-time major winner Djokovic had seen fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz, his scheduled last-eight opponent, beaten by Jannik Sinner. The 20-year-old Italian clinched a 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 win to set up a meeting with the top seed instead. Sinner, who had never won a grass court match before this Wimbledon, is the youngest man in the last-eight since Nick Kyrgios in 2014. “Carlos is a very tough opponent and a nice person. It’s always a huge pleasure to play him,” said Sinner after making the quarterfinals of a Slam for the third time. Sinner needed six match points to seal the deal while Alcaraz was left to regret failing to convert any of his seven break points. For the first time, play took place on the middle Sunday. It has traditionally been a rest day with the exception of a handful of occasions when rain in the opening week forced a quick planning reset. The action on Center Court was preceded by a parade of champions to mark the 100th anniversary of the stadium. One of those was eight-time champion Federer, who is sitting out the 2022 tournament as he continues his slow recovery from knee surgery. However, he insisted that he plans to be back in 2023, even though he will be within sight of his 42nd birthday. “I hope I can come back one more time,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner. “I’ve missed it here.” Federer has been out of action since a quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon last year before undergoing another bout of knee surgery. “I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead,” said Federer. ‘Knee rough on me’ “I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back — the knee has been rough on me.” Belgium’s David Goffin defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the longest match at this year’s Wimbledon to reach the quarterfinals. Goffin, who also made the quarters on his last appearance in 2019, came out on top 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 after four hours and 36 minutes on Court Two. The world number 58 will next face Britain’s Cameron Norrie who reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time, sweeping past Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. After women’s top seed Iga Swiatek was knocked out Saturday, world number two Ons Jabeur stayed on course for a maiden Slam title. The Tunisian made the last eight for a second successive year, beating Belgium’s Elise Mertens 7-6 (11/9), 6-4.