Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Djokovic next out of top 100 on Wimbledon wild card

Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — It’s the stuff of movies, to be sure: A recurrent injury-hit man breaks out of the Top 100, making his Grand Slam debut thanks to a wild card, with two seeds on his way Received players dropped out of fourth round matchup at Wimbledon No. 1 against none other than Novak DjokovicThree-time defending champion.

We can only guess what Hollywood can do with that script. Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven, 25, earned Djokovic a chance to see what would happen in real life at the nets Both men won in straight sets at the All England Club on Friday,

“Before the tournament started, it was basically a dream for me to play him. So to be able to have that chance, and maybe even play on center court or Court 1, is beautiful and magical,” van Rijthoven said on the court as No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 12, with a capacity of 1,736, to become the first wild-card entry since 2015 to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Van Rijthoven said, “I go to every match thinking that I can win the match.” “Also, against Djokovic, I would go into that match thinking I could win that match.”

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

“It’s been a long one. I’ve had my ups and downs, injuries here and there. Struggled mentally too,” said van Rijthoven, whose health issues include wrist surgery, thrombosis on his right hand. K.’s vein and nine months of healing from “golfer’s elbow,” which he noted with a smile from playing tennis.

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“I am happy to be where I am now,” he said. “I expect that for a few more years — or a lot more years, really.”

If that’s unknown to most, it’s not for Djokovic, who captured six of the seven in the opening game and then a strong stretch later, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 22 Kekmanovic on the nearly 15,000-seat center court during the victory over Miomir.

This is in part because Djokovic is friends with van Rijthoven’s coach Igor Sijsling. And partly because he’s keeping an eye on the guy.

So Djokovic offered a scouting report.

“From what I have seen, his game is quite suitable for this surface. His big serve, a one-handed backhand. Uses slices well. He is an all-around player. He can play fast, he can also be in the rally and come over the nets. “I am sure he is excited to play on the big stage. He doesn’t have much to lose. He is on the race of his dreams. He is a young player who is just starting out, so I am sure that He will have a great career.”

The other men’s fourth-round matchups set up for mid-Sunday – traditionally an off day, which is now a scheduled day of play for the first time in the tournament’s 145-year history – are No. 5 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No. 10 Jannik. , No. 23 Francis Tifo vs. David Goffin, and No. 30 Tommy Paul vs. No. 9 Cam Norie.

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Djokovic is eyeing a seventh career title at Wimbledon and 21st major championship overall. Only one other person in the top half of the bracket has been in the fourth round at the All England Club in the past: Goffin.

And Djokovic is the only person who still reached last year’s quarterfinals.

Djokovic said, ‘I am playing better and better as the tournament progresses. “I always expect the most from myself.”

The women’s fourth rounders on Sunday are No. 3 Ones Jabur vs. No. 24 Elise Mertens, No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko vs. Tatjana Maria, Marie Buzkova vs. Caroline Garcia, and Heather Watson vs. Julie Niemeyer. One of those players will play for the championship; The only one who has ever participated in a Grand Slam singles final before is 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko.

Britain’s 30-year-old Watson made her Grand Slam debut in 2010 and this is her 43rd appearance in one of the sport’s four most important tournaments. It is the first time she has reached the fourth round (also for Niemeyer, whose last major performance was a first round exit at this year’s French Open).

“Yeah, I was just waiting for it to happen,” Watson said. “I’ve waited long enough, I guess.”

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More Associated Press Wimbledon coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/wimbledon and https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Nation World News Desk
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