Djokovic easily reaches fourth round of Wimbledon

Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — It’s certainly the stuff of a movie script: An often-injured kid breaks out of the Top 100, making his Grand Slam debut thanks to a wild card, stomping two seeds on his way to fourth place. The carried-round match at Wimbledon is against none other than No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the three-time defending champion.

We can only guess what Hollywood can do with that script. Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven, 25, earned the opportunity to see what would happen in real life on the other side of Djokovic’s net after winning the pair in straight sets on Friday at the All England Club.

“Basically it was my dream to play against him before the tournament started. So to be able to have that opportunity, and maybe even play on center court or Court 1, it’s beautiful and magical,” van Rijthoven told No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4 on Court 12 which has 1,736 seats, becoming the first wild-card entry since 2015 to reach the Wimbledon round of 16.

“I go into every game thinking I can win it,” said van Rijnthoven, whose point guard style knocked out No. 15 Reilly Opelka earlier in the week. I’ll go thinking that I can win that match.”

In fact, until June Van Rijthoven had never won a match on the ATP tour. Since then, he has not lost a single one, leading 8–0, including a win over current No. 1 Daniil Medvedev to claim the trophy at a grass-court event in the Netherlands.

Other men’s fourth round matches are scheduled for Sunday, which is traditionally a rest day, but now has a scheduled playing day for the first time in the tournament’s 145-year history, No. 5 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No. 10 Jannik. Papi, Francis Tiafoe vs. David Goffin, and Tommy Paul vs. Cam Norie.

Djokovic is aiming to win a seventh Wimbledon title of his career and 21st Grand Slam title overall. Only one other person from the top half of the draw has reached the fourth round at the All England Club: Goffin.

And Djokovic is the only active player to reach the quarter-finals last year.

Djokovic said, ‘I am playing better and better because of the tournament. “I always expect the best from myself.”

Sunday’s Women’s Fourth Round Match No. 3 Ons Jabur vs. No. 24 Elise Mertens: No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko vs. Tatjana Maria; Marie Bouzkova against Caroline Garcia, and Heather Watson against Julie Niemeyer. One of those players will play for the championship; Ostapenko, the only person to have previously competed in a Grand Slam singles final, is the 2017 French Open champion.


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