Two sets given up in four matches: Novak Djokovic leaves only crumbs to his opponents at Wimbledon. In the round of 16, the world number 3 (but seeded 1 in the absence of Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev) overcame the obstacle Tim van Rijthoven in four rounds. Winner at ‘s-Hertogenbsoch and sitting on a series of eight wins in a row, the Dutchman fought well but lost 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, in 2:37 This is the 13th time that “Djoko” has reached this stage of the competition in London, in 17 appearances.
The Serb showed himself as often clinical during the first set. That he won 6-2 by checking all the important points. Not only did he score two breaks against a formidable server who had hit 53 aces in three matches so far, but he cleared a total of three break points. The lightning that came out of the arm of the Dutchman seemed not to reach him.
Little room for maneuver for the Dutchman
But van Rijthoven did not let up in intensity. He thus signed a break at 3 everywhere in the second round, at the end of an exceptional game where everything had succeeded for him. Very calm, he even got out of a game under high tension, ten minutes long, when he had to serve for the set. He dismissed four break points and equalized at one set everywhere, slamming his 12th and 13th aces. Center Court didn’t ask for that much.
But the Dutchman’s high-risk game leaves him little room for manoeuvre. A forehand fault cost him his serve at 1-0 and Djokovic doubled the lead two games later with a pair of subtle lobs (4-0). The Serb no longer loosened his grip, committing only two unforced errors in the whole set. Implacable.
Stainless in return, he put the pressure back on at the start of the fourth set. Break in the pocket (2-0), “Djoko” sped towards victory without ever shaking again. He will face in the quarter-finals Jannik Sinner, who beat Carlos Alcaraz earlier in the day. The Serb leads 1-0 in their confrontations (6-4, 6-2, in Monte-Carlo in 2021).