Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic reaches quarter-finals for 14th time after curfew-delayed win over Hubert Hurkacz | Tennis News

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Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic is through to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for a 14th time after a curfew-delayed four-set win against Hubert Hurkacz.

The 36-year-old Serbian was leading Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz by two sets when play was suspended on Sunday night.

Hurkacz took the third set but Djokovic hit back to win 7-6 (7-6) 7-6 (7-6) 5-7 6-4 and book a last-eight meeting with Russian Andrey Rublev.

Novak Djokovic celebrates victory over Hubert Hurkacz on day eight of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2023.
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Djokovic made it through to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon with a hard-fought win against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz

He said: “Big credit to Hubert for playing an amazing match, tough luck for him. he put up a great performance.

“Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I felt this miserable on returning games, due to his incredibly accurate and powerful serve.

“He’s got one of the best serves in the world and it’s so difficult to read it. Playing on the quickest surface it really favours the big servers so it was not really an enjoyable match for me.

“But I guess in the important moments last night I was fortunate to win the first set. This match could definitely have gone a different way but I held my nerve and I’m happy to win.”

Djokovic had not faced so much as a break point in his previous 53 service games, so a third tie-break seemed inevitable until Hurkacz forced two at 6-5 and the Serbian dumped the second into the net.

Hurkacz fended off two break points – the first he had faced since the second set, some 17 hours ago – at 3-3 in the fourth but when he slipped on the baseline at deuce, Djokovic converted the third.

It was the first time Hurkacz had dropped serve at these Championships and it proved enough to see the 23-time Grand Slam champion through.

Djokovic makes it 25 consecutive Slam wins

Novak Djokovic made it 25 consecutive Grand Slam wins for with her last loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in the 2022 quarter-finals.

“He’s a different player to Hurkacz, for sure,” added Djokovic. “He’s got very powerful, quick groundstrokes, stays close to the line and has one of the best forehands in the game, loves to dictate… I’m not going to talk too much about tactics.

“I have to be ready. The matches are only going to get harder. It’s tough to say it’s going to get harder than what I experienced yesterday and today, but I have to be ready for that.

“Rublev has been a top-10 player for many years and he’s looking for his first semi-finals at a grand slam. Hopefully it’s not gonna happen.”

Alcaraz tames Berrettini to reach last eight

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates victory over Matteo Berrettini on day eight of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2023.
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Spanish world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz fought back from a set down to defeat Italian Matteo Berrettini

World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz passed another test to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time.

Having been pushed to four sets by Nicolas Jarry in the third round, the top seed had to fight back from a set down to see off former finalist Matteo Berrettini 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-3.

Berrettini came out firing with his serve and forehand rocking Alcaraz but after an injury-plagued year he could not hope to maintain that intensity.

Alcaraz was relentless from then on, running former runner-up Berrettini ragged at times.

He broke serve in the third game of the second set on the way to levelling the match and did the same in the third set as he picked up speed.

A delay to close the roof midway through the fourth set as the light faded offered Berrettini some respite but Alcaraz quickly completed the win after the resumption.

Alcaraz showing greatness already

Carlos Alcaraz is the fourth player in the last 30 years to appear in men’s singles quarter-finals of the French Open and the Wimbledon in the same year before turning 21 after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“I knew it was going to be really tough, Matteo is a great player, he made the final here on grass,” said Alcaraz.

“He’s playing great. It’s not easy after losing the first set. I knew I was going to have my chances. Something I’ve been working on is to stay focused and not lose my mind a little bit. That part I did great.

“It’s something that I really wanted. Last year I lost in the fourth round. I came here this year with that goal, first get into the quarter-finals and now I’m looking for more.

“My dream is to play a final here, to win the title one day. I hope I reach that dream this year but right now it’s great to be in the quarter-finals.”

Holger Rune also progressed to the quarter-finals, becoming the first Scandinavian men’s player to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon since Robin Soderling in 2010.

The 20-year-old Dane came back from a set down to defeat Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6 (7-6) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Medvedev into maiden Wimbledon quarter-finals

Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning the third set during his match against Marton Fucsovics (not pictured) on day six of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Saturday July 8, 2023.
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Daniil Medvedev reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time when his fourth-round opponent Jiri Lehecka retired injured

World No 3 Daniil Medvedev eased into his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final after Jiri Lehecka was forced to retire injured.

The 27-year-old Russian was in control on Court One and had just gone two sets ahead at 6-4 6-2 when his Czech opponent pulled out.

Lehecka received treatment during a medical timeout at the end of the opening set but initially battled on in some discomfort before opting for a premature departure.

Biggest career win in the bank

Christopher Eubanks will jump to near top 30 in the rankings. Four months ago he was 119. This time last year he was 163.

Medvedev, who will take on American Christopher Eubanks in the last eight, said: “I honestly did not (realise) until he retired,” he said of Lehecka’s injury.

“I saw that maybe his movement is a little bit restricted but the way he was throwing the ball I thought that it was not causing him enough trouble but then when he retired, I was like, ‘OK, I see it different’.

“I feel sorry for Jiri. Hopefully he can recover fast and he has a lot more Grand Slams to come ahead of him.”

Lehecka showed some touches of class but his performance was undermined by a series of errors and, ultimately, his fitness issue.

The 21-year-old struggled to deal with the power of Medvedev, with one of his returns of serve flying off court and landing in a spectator’s drink.

Both players were then forced to sit down during the sixth game of the second set due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

The affected spectator eventually walked out of the arena with the aid of medics following a delay of around 10 minutes.

Speaking about reaching the last eight at the All England Club for the first time, Medvedev added: “It’s probably my fifth or sixth Wimbledon and I was not very successful but I never lost on this court.

“I feel sorry that all the quarters are going to be played on Centre (Court). I’m like, ‘can I just continue here?’.

“I’m really happy and looking forward to the next match.”

Eubanks’ biggest knockout of his career

Christopher Eubanks reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles match against Stefanos Tsitsipas on day eight of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2023.
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Unseeded American Chris Eubanks slammed 52 winners and made 56 unforced errors in his victory against Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas

Unseeded American Eubanks slammed 52 winners and made 56 unforced errors against Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas before reaching his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final with a stunning 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-4 6-4 victory.

His impressive win over two-time Slam finalist Tsitsipas follows success over British No 1 Cameron Norrie and sets up a last-eight meeting with Medvedev.

“I feel like I’m living a dream right now,” said Eubanks. “This is absolutely insane.

“When you paint all of the context – I’ve tried so much to block everything out and just focus on the next match – it’s surreal, it’s unbelievable.

“This has been a dream come true.”

Eubanks, ranked 43rd in the world, had only won two grand slam matches prior to arriving at SW19.

He made an unconvincing start to the contest on Court Two but battled back and floored Tsitsipas – conqueror of Andy Murray – with 53 winners, including 13 aces.

Eubanks recently said he hated playing on grass but is currently enjoying a nine-match winning streak on the surface.

“Those words will never come out of my mouth (again) for the rest of my career,” he said.

“The grass and I, we’ve had a very strenuous relationship over the years but right now I think it’s my best friend.”

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