Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic Overcomes Tim Van Rijthoven Scare To Sail Into 13th Quarterfinal

Novak Djokovic took his Wimbledon winning streak to 25 matches after beating Tim van Rijthoven en route to the quarterfinals. He will next face Jannik Sinner.

Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Tim van Rijthoven to reach Wimbledon 2022 quarters.
Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Tim van Rijthoven to reach Wimbledon 2022 quarters. AP

Facing an unexpectedly tough opponent and a pending curfew, Novak Djokovic put his game into another gear to beat both. The six-time champion reached his 13th Wimbledon quarterfinal by beating Dutch wild-card entry Tim van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Centre Court. (More Tennis News)

When Van Rijthoven, ranked 104th, surprisingly won a 50-minute second set, it looked like the match might not finish before Wimbledon’s 11 PM curfew. But Djokovic sped through the next two sets to wrap up the win with about 20 minutes to spare and ensure he gets a full rest day on Monday.

Djokovic is the three-time defending champion at the All England Club and took his Wimbledon winning streak to 25 matches. He will face Jannik Sinner in the quarters. Van Rijthoven was playing his first Grand Slam tournament.

Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was fined $10,000 by the All England Club, and Nick Kyrgios was docked $4,000 for actions during their wild third-round match.

The tournament announced the penalties on Sunday, a day after Kyrgios beat Tsitsipas in four sets. Things got testy during the match — and there was more dislike for each other expressed during their news conferences.

Tsitsipas’ fine was for unsportsmanlike conduct; he twice was warned by chair umpire Damien Dumusois for ball abuse. Two such code violations automatically result in losing a point. Kyrgios lost money after Dumusois cited him for an audible obscenity.

This was Kyrgios’ second fine of the tournament. He was penalized $10,000 for spitting in the direction of a spectator he said was heckling him during a first-round victory.

Jannik Sinner outduelled Carlos Alcaraz in a matchup of up-and-comers to reach his first Wimbledon quarterfinal, although he needed six match points to put his opponent away.

The 20-year-old Sinner failed to convert two match points in the third-set tiebreaker but recovered to win 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-3 on Centre Court against the 19-year-old Alcaraz.

In terms of combined age, it was the youngest men’s singles matchup in the round of 16 or later at Wimbledon since 17-year-old Boris Becker beat Henri Leconte in the quarterfinals in 1985.

The 10th-seeded Sinner had three more match points at 5-2 in the fourth but the No. 5-seeded Alcaraz saved them all before holding serve. Sinner then saved a break point in the next game before finally converting his sixth match point with a forehand winner.

He will face defending champion Novak Djokovic next. Cam Norrie became the first British man in five years to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, beating Tommy Paul in straight sets on No. 1 Court. The ninth-seeded Norrie was only broken once as he won 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

He is the first British male quarterfinalist since Andy Murray in 2017 and will face David Goffin of Belgium. Norrie reached a career-high ranking of No. 10 this year but this is the first time he’s been past the third round of a Grand Slam tournament.

The 30th-seeded Paul was playing at Wimbledon for the first time and was trying to reach his second Grand Slam quarterfinal. David Goffin reached his second Wimbledon quarterfinal after outlasting Francis Tiafoe in five sets.

The Belgian won 7-6 (3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 on No. 2 Court in a tight contest that lasted 4 hours, 36 minutes. Goffin also reached the quarters in his last Wimbledon appearance in 2019, but missed last year’s tournament with an injury.

Tiafoe called for a physio after winning the third set and was given a pill, then quickly went down 5-1 in the fourth as his first-serve percentage dipped.

The No. 23-seeded American held two break points at 5-5 in the fifth set but Goffin saved them both with powerful serves, then converted his first match point in the next game when Tiafoe netted a backhand.

In women’s singles, third-seeded Ons Jabeur saved five set points in the first-set tiebreaker before beating Elise Mertens 7-6 (9), 6-4 to reach her second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Jabeur came from 6-3 down in the tiebreaker, then broke the 24th-seeded Mertens in the final game of the second set when her opponent double-faulted on match point on No. 1 Court. Jabeur will face unseeded Marie Bouzkova, with both players trying to reach their first Grand Slam semifinal.

Jule Niemeier is into the quarterfinals in her first Wimbledon appearance after denying British veteran Heather Watson a spot in the last eight. The 22-year-old Niemeier, who is playing just her second Grand Slam tournament after losing in the first round of the French Open in May, beat Watson 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court.

The German converted her third match point when Watson netted a backhand. The 30-year-old Watson was playing in her 43rd major tournament and had reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Niemeier will next face countrywoman Tatjana Maria, who reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the age of 34. Maria saved two match points in the second set before beating 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

The 103rd-ranked Maria won 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 on No. 1 Court. The German is the oldest woman left in the singles draw and had only been past the second round once in 34 previous Grand Slam appearances.

She saved two match points at 5-4 in the second set, then had a chance to serve out the match at the same score in the third but was broken. But she broke Ostapenko again and then converted her second match point when the Latvian sent a service return wide.

Maria’s previous best result at a Grand Slam was reaching the third round at Wimbledon in 2015. She lost in the first round in her last eight major appearances. Ostapenko reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2018.

Earlier, Wimbledon had its first quarterfinalist in women’s singles - Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic. Bouzkova beat Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-2 in a fourth-round match on No. 2 Court to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Bouzkova upset seventh-seeded Danielle Collins in the first round.


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