DAY 7: Novak Djokovic did not let up for a second against his fellow Serb, good friend and Olympic doubles partner Viktor Troicki on Monday evening. Djokovic, looking to retain his Wimbledon title, raced through his fourth round match against the world No. 34 taking it 63 61 63 in just one and a half hours.
The world No. 1 did not hang around and broke in the fourth game of the match to take a 3-1 lead in the first set and then again in the sixth game to move 4-2 ahead. He held his serve twice to eventually take that set 6-3.
Not much changed in the second set as Djokovic broke in the very first game. Then, after two holds of serve, Djokovic broke yet again at 3-1 then again at 5-1 to take the set.
Troicki offered a bit more resistance in the third set but was ultimately unable to prevent Djokovic from taking the set and the match. Djokovic looked like the champion he is on Centre Court and Troicki was blown away, unable to cope with the world No. 1’s powerful ground strokes.
Talking about playing such a good friend, Djokovic said “The first time we played each other, he was nine and I was eight. It's never easy to play a very good friend, but there has to be one loser.”
The big upset of the day was in the women’s draw as Sabine Lisicki beat French Open champion and world No. 1 Maria Sharapova 64 63 on No. 1 Court. This was Lisicki’s first victory against Sharapova, having lost the previous three meetings, including the Wimbledon semifinal last year.
The German, ranked No. 15 in the world, broke Sharapova’s serve twice early on in the opening set but the world No. 1 fought back. The match was going with serve at until Sharapova failed to hold her serve at 4-5 as Lisicki broke to take the first set.
They went off for a rain delay at 0-0 in the second set and when they returned Lisicki continued to punish the Sharapova serve, breaking early to take a 2-0 lead. She was put under pressure by Sharapova while serving for the match but secured victory with a second serve ace.
Lisicki was full of confidence after the match, saying “I'm getting better with each match. This is my favourite tournament. I love it here.”
Lisicki’s win sets up an all-German quarterfinal against Angelique Kerber, who ended Kim Clijsters’ hopes of winning the title in her final Wimbledon appearance with an emphatic 61 61 victory.
Kerber was dominant from the start in her match against three-time US Open winner Clijsters and was unrelenting throughout, although Clijsters was not at her best, struggling on serve and constantly making unforced errors.
Clijsters, who will retire after the US Open at the end of the year, made her Wimbledon debut as a 16-year-old in 1999. Despite this being her eighth Wimbledon appearance, she has never made the final, and unfortunately it now looks as though she never will.
“I just had the feeling that there was absolutely nothing I could have done to have won that match," said the former world No. 1.
Someone who has played several Wimbledon finals, however, is Serena Williams, and she battled through against Yaroslava Shvedova 61 26 75 to set up the pick of the quarterfinals against world No. 4 Petra Kvitova.
Shvedova, who recorded the first ‘Golden Set’ at a Grand Slam on Saturday when she did not lose a point in the first set against Sara Errani, did not start this match quite so well and Williams took the opening set with ease.
The Kazakh fought back and was impressive in the second set, taking it 6-2 to set up an exciting deciding set. Williams eventually won it 7-5 in a little under an hour and she progresses to her 12th Wimbledon quarterfinal.
Asked about how she felt, she replied “As the tournament goes on and on, I tend to relax more and more and realise that this is a great opportunity for me”, and when asked if she could win it, she merely stated “I'm Serena Williams; I'm very confident.”
Kvitova advances after beating Francesca Schiavone 46 75 61. The match ended in the rain despite Schiavone protesting that play should have been stopped. Victoria Azarenka is also through after she defeated Ana Ivanovic 61 60 under the roof on Centre Court.
In the men’s draw, Roger Federer overcame not only Xavier Malisse but also an issue with his back in the first match of the day on Centre Court. Federer, bidding to equal Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles, ended Malisse’s impressive run 76(1) 61 46 63.
The only other match to be completed in the men’s draw was the enticing, enthralling match between Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny. In a match that lasted almost five hours out on Court 18, the deciding fifth set was won by the Russian 7-5 as he completed a 63 57 64 67(5) 75 victory, despite the man from Uzbekistan winning more points in the match.
All other matches were stopped due to rain, including Andy Murray against Marin Cilic, which was halted with the Brit 3-1 up in the second set after having taken the first 7-5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against Mardy Fish was also stopped due to the weather with the American a set up on the world No. 6.
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