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Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic Cruises Into 50th Grand Slam Quarter-Final

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Novak Djokovic marched effortlessly into his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final as Ons Jabeur became the first Tunisian player to make the last-eight at the All England Club, leading a host of first timers to reach the landmark on ‘Manic Monday’. World number one Djokovic, chasing a sixth Wimbledon and record-equalling 20th major, eased into the last-eight at the tournament for the 12th time with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Chile’s Cristian Garin. He will next face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, one of a host of players booking last-eight spots at the tournament for the first time.

The list included women’s top seed Ashleigh Barty, second seed Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Viktorija Golubic as well as Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov in the men’s draw.

Djokovic is halfway to a calendar Grand Slam.

Only two men have swept all four majors in the same year with Rod Laver the most recent back in 1969.

“Confidence levels are very high after winning the French Open,” said Djokovic.

“It was one of my biggest wins in the circumstances — two five-setters, two four-setters in the second week.

“They took a lot out of me but they also gave me wings.”

Barty reached the quarter-finals for the first time, beating French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.

The 25-year-old Australian will play the winner of the match between unseeded compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic and British teenager Emma Raducanu for a place in the semi-finals.

“It was an incredibly tough match,” said Barty.

“Barbora has had an unbelievable year and am happy to come through in the end. I found some good stuff when it was important.”

Jabeur’s historic campaign saw her reach the quarter-finals for the first time, beating Poland’s 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

The 26-year-old is the first Tunisian woman to reach the last eight and will face Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka who defeated Elena Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

“It was a great match and I had to stay calm rather than get angry when I failed to close out the first set as getting angry would not have helped my cause,” said Jabeur.

Both Jabeur and Sabalenka have a season-leading 33 wins in 2021.

13 service breaks

Former world number one Pliskova reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russian wildcard Liudmila Samsonova.

Later Monday, eight-time champion Roger Federer, who takes on Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, can become the oldest quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in the Open era.

Federer, just five weeks shy of his 40th birthday, is in the Wimbledon last 16 for the 18th time.

In all, it will be his 69th appearance in the fourth round of a Slam.

Men’s seventh seed Berrettini became only the fifth Italian man to make the last eight with a quickfire 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.

The Queen’s Club champion, the first Italian man in the quarter-finals since 1998, will face either Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada or German fourth seed Alexander Zverev for a semi-final spot.

Second seed Daniil Medvedev, who staged a comeback from two sets down for the first time in his career to beat 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic, faces Hubert Hurkacz, the Polish 14th seed.

Khachanov also reached a maiden quarter-final with a five-set win over Sebastian Korda who was celebrating his 21st birthday.

Russian 25th seed Khachanov triumphed over his American rival 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 and will face Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.

A marathon 81-minute final set on Court 18 featured 13 breaks of serve before Khachanov steadied himself to take the victory.

Shapovalov, who knocked out two-time champion Andy Murray in the last round, dismissed Spain’s 2019 semi-finalist and eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.

The only British player left in the singles draw is 18-year-old Raducanu who has defied her ranking of 338 to make the second week where she meets Tomljanovic.

Raducanu has only just completed her final school exams and has attracted a host of new fans, including rock star Liam Gallagher, the former frontman of Oasis.

“BIBLICAL,” Gallagher tweeted in response to Raducanu’s third round win over Sorana Cirstea.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the only former champion left in the women’s event, takes on Coco Gauff.

Gauff, 17, is bidding to become the youngest woman to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final since Maria Sharapova in 2004.

Viktorija Golubic, ranked 66, defeated Madison Keys 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 as she also broke through to the last eight for the first time where she’ll face Pliskova.

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