Digimagaz.com – Novak Djokovic, the second seed at Wimbledon, fought hard over two days to secure his spot in the quarter-finals. The seven-time champion faced Hubert Hurkacz in a gripping match that saw Djokovic win 7-6(6), 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-4.
Sunday evening saw Djokovic take an early lead by clinching the first two sets. However, the match couldn’t be completed due to time constraints, and the players returned to Centre Court the next day to finish what they had started. Hurkacz refused to back down, impressively winning the third set and challenging Djokovic at every turn.
Acknowledging Hurkacz’s stellar performance, Djokovic commented during his on-court interview, “Big credit to Hubert for playing an amazing match, tough luck for him today. But he put up a great performance. Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I felt this miserable in returning games, to be honest, due to his incredibly accurate and powerful serve.”
Hurkacz’s serve proved to be a formidable obstacle for Djokovic, known for his exceptional return game. The 17th seed remained unbroken throughout the match, showcasing his skill until the fourth set when Djokovic finally found a breakthrough. After three hours and six minutes of intense gameplay, Djokovic secured the victory and advanced to the next round.
Djokovic admitted the challenges he faced against Hurkacz, saying, “He’s got one of the best serves in the world, and it’s so difficult to read it. Playing on the quickest surface in the sport, grass court, it really favors big servers. So it was not really an enjoyable match for me, I must say. But I guess in the important moments, yesterday last night, I was fortunate really to win that first set.”
The match was not without its nail-biting moments. Djokovic demonstrated his resilience by saving three set points in the first-set tie-break and making a comeback from a late mini-break in the second-set tie-break.
Tournament referee Gerry Armstrong made the decision to suspend play on Sunday evening after the completion of the second set, recognizing the unlikelihood of finishing the match before the 11 p.m. curfew. When play resumed, Hurkacz appeared more relaxed, leading to his victory in the third set. Djokovic, however, fought back and emerged triumphant.
Djokovic will face seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals. Rublev secured his spot after a five-set battle against Alexander Bublik on Sunday. Djokovic has a 3-1 advantage in their previous encounters, with Rublev’s sole victory coming in last year’s Belgrade final on clay.
Their other three meetings saw Djokovic dominate, not allowing Rublev to win more than four games in a set. These clashes took place at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2021 and 2022, as well as this year’s Australian Open.
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