Six-time champion Novak Djokovic reaches 13th Wimbledon quarter-final

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Published: 7/4/2022 7:25:36 AM

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic reached his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final Sunday.

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 quarter-finals 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 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.

Belgium's David Goffin defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the longest match at this year's Wimbledon to reach the quarter-finals.

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 No 58 will next face Britain's Cameron Norrie who reached a Grand Slam quarter-final 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 No 2 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.

Jabeur, who will face Marie Bouzkova for a semi-final place, said she wanted to be a trailblazer for Arab and African players.

"I wish I could really give that message to the young generation not just from my country but from the African continent," she said.

Bouzkova, the world No 66 from the Czech Republic, breezed past Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-2.

Mother-of-two Tatjana Maria is also through to her first Slam quarter-final, 15 years after her debut.

The 34-year old saved two match points to defeat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.

Maria, ranked 103, fired nine aces and exploited Ostapenko's all-or-nothing approach, which resulted in 52 winners and 57 unforced errors.

"It makes me so proud to be a mum - that's the best thing in the world," said Maria, who only returned from a second maternity leave less than a year ago.

Ostapenko grumbled: "She didn't really do anything today. She was just waiting on my mistakes."

Maria will face fellow German Jule Niemeier for a place in the semi-finals after the world No 97 beat Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4.

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