• Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Djokovic into fourth round, Murray runs out of steam

  • Published at 09:17 pm July 2nd, 2021
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns against the USA's Denis Kudla during their Wimbledon third round match Friday Reuters

Djokovic defeated Kudla 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) to book a place in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 55th time

World No 1 Novak Djokovic clinched his 75th Wimbledon match win Friday as battling Andy Murray slipped to his earliest exit at the tournament since 2005.

Defending champion Djokovic survived a nervy third set to defeat 114th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) to book a place in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 55th time.

Djokovic, chasing a record-equalling 20th major, cruised through the first two sets but then had to fight back from 1-4 down and also 1/4 in the tiebreaker on Court One, saving a set point in the process.

Djokovic is halfway to becoming only the third man in history - and first since Rod Laver in 1969 - to complete the calendar Slam.

Next up for Djokovic is Chilean 17th seed Christian Garin who defeated Spain's Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Murray suffered his earliest Wimbledon exit in 16 years when the two-time champion was knocked out by world No 12 Denis Shapovalov.

Murray, who has been locked in a lengthy struggle against hip and groin injuries and is now ranked at 118, went down 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

It was the first time the 2013 and 2016 champion had lost in the third round since his debut as an 18-year old in 2005.

Canadian 22-year old Shapovalov will face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarter-finals.

Former world No 1 Murray, taking part in the singles tournament for the first time since 2017, was playing just his eighth match on the main tour in 2021.

World No 24 Ons Jabeur became the first Tunisian woman to make the last 16 when she defeated 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on the back of 44 winners.

Muguruza saved 24 of 29 break points but was still unable to break the spirit of Arab trailblazer Jabeur who came through despite throwing up at the Royal Box end on Centre Court as she served for the match.

Jabeur next takes on Poland's Iga Swiatek, the seventh seed, who was the first player into the last 16 with a 55-minute 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu.

Swiatek, the 2018 junior champion, had only won one match on grass on the main tour prior to Wimbledon.

Swiatek was beaten in the Wimbledon first round in 2019.

In a wide open women's draw, Swiatek is just one of three top 10 seeds still standing along with top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, who plays the third round yesterday, and second seeded Aryna Sabalenka.

Sabalenka made the last 16 for the first time by beating Colombian qualifier Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-3.

Sabalenka next faces fellow big-hitter Elena Rybakina, the 18th-seeded Kazakh who saw off Shelby Rogers 6-1, 6-4.

Former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova made the last 16 for the third time with a 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow Czech Tereza Martincova.

Pliskova will meet Russian wildcard Liudmila Samsonova who defeated former US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

Samsonova, who won the Berlin title after coming through qualifying on the eve of Wimbledon, fired 33 winners to Stephens's eight.

The Russian has now won 10 successive matches on grass.

Sebastian Korda marked his Center Court debut with a  6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4  win over Britain's Dan Evans.

Korda's father Petr was a quarter-finalist in 1998 while last weekend his sister Nelly won her first golf major and grabbed the world No 1 ranking.

He plays Khachanov Monday when he will turn 21.

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