Tennis

Djokovic beats Dutch wild card to enter into last 8 of Wimbledon

LONDON: Novak Djokovic extended his run to 25 consecutive victories on grass-court after he beat Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round at the Wimbledon on Sunday.

The top-seeded Djokovic was challenged by his opponent’s powerful serve and multi-faceted forehand, but showed his championship pedigree by locking down with his baseline game to produce a brilliant response to his second dropped set of the tournament.

“I knew coming into the match that it was always going to be a tough, challenging matchup against Tim, who I’ve never faced before,” Djokovic said in his post-match presser. “I watched him play. He’s got a really good game for grass, which he proved today. [It] was a very good fight, especially in the first two sets.

After van Rijthoven fought off four break points to serve out the second set, sending Djokovic slipping to the turf with well-disguised hitting, the Serbian raced to a 5-0 lead in the third to re-estabish himself as the dominant force in the contest.

He made just two unforced errors in the third set as he found his groove on return, eliminating the free points that served to boost van Rijthoven’s confidence in the early stages.

Attacking the Dutchman’s backhand corner, Djokovic secured an instant break in the fourth set to quell any thoughts of a turnaround. Ever the perfectionist, he let out a roar of frustration after a rare miss later in the set before he finished the match with ease after two hours, 37 minutes.

“I just really am pleased with the way I closed out the match,” Djokovic added. “I lost the rhythm on my serve a little bit towards the end of the match, but overall just a good fight and really challenging match for me on grass.”

(ATP)

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