Novak Djokovic reaches Wimbledon quarters as Elena Rybakina advances

Poland's Hubert Hurkacz gives a thumbs-up to Serbia's Novak Djokovic after being defeated during their men's singles tennis match on the eighth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday

Poland's Hubert Hurkacz gives a thumbs-up to Serbia's Novak Djokovic after being defeated during their men's singles tennis match on the eighth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Published Jul 10, 2023


London — Novak Djokovic reached his 14th Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev and defending women's champion Elena Rybakina both progressed to the last eight after their opponents suffered injuries.

Last year's beaten women's finalist Ons Jabeur hammered two-time champion Petra Kvitova 6-0, 6-3 while second seed Aryna Sabaleka also won in straight sets.

Djokovic tamed the serve of Hubert Hurkacz to stay on track for a record-equalling eighth title and 24th Grand Slam, winning 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-4.

The Serbian second seed was two sets up when a locally agreed 11:00 pm curfew halted play on Sunday.

The match resumed on Centre Court on Monday and the Polish 17th seed broke Djokovic in the 12th game to get a foothold in the match.

In the fourth set, Djokovic broke for a 4-3 lead, ending Hurkacz's perfect run of 67 service games at the tournament this year.

Victory in his 100th match at the tournament gave Djokovic a 90th win.

Top-ranked Alcaraz is seen as one of the few genuine threats to the defending champion, who has not lost a match on Centre Court for 10 years.

The 20-year-old has little experience on grass but won last month's tournament at Queen's to set himself up for a tilt at the Wimbledon title.

Fairytale ends

The first result of the day was on No. 2 Court, where 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva's fairytale run was brought to an end.

The teenager, who came through qualifying, looked set for a place in the quarter-finals when leading 25th seed Madison Keys by a set and 4-1 but the American fought back to win 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

The match ended in controversy when Andreeva was handed a penalty point for banging her racquet into the surface.

The sanction took Keys to match point.

Andreeva said she was seeking to channel Roger Federer, who was a hot-headed player in his younger days.

"I knew that Roger Federer was struggling with emotions when he was teenager," she said of the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

"I'm not the only one who also struggles."

In the opening match on Centre Court, Rybakina was 3-1 up when Brazilian world number 13 Beatriz Haddad Maia took a medical timeout to treat a lower back injury. She returned to the court but had to retire when trailing 4-1.

Rybakina will play Jabeur in the quarters in a re-match of last year's final after the Tunisian swept Kvitova aside in just over a hour.

"I'm probably going for my revenge," she said. "It was a difficult final last year. It's going to bring a lot of memories.

"I'm hoping to play like today and get the win because she's an amazing player."

In the other women's fourth-round tie, Belarusian second seed Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open this year, breezed past Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-0.

Men's third seed Daniil Medvedev was 6-4, 6-2 ahead when unseeded Jiri Lehecka, who had needed a medical timeout for a right foot injury, retired from their Court One clash.

Fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas lost a five-set thriller against 43rd-ranked American Christopher Eubanks 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Eubanks held his nerve when he served for the match, saving two break points before producing a devastating forehand to seal the deal, soaking up the atmosphere.

The American described grass as the "stupidest" surface to play on last month but he has now changed his tune.

"The grass and I, we've had a very strenuous relationship over the years but right now I think it's my best friend," he said.

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov was facing sixth seed Holger Rune in the final match on No. 1 Court.