Tennis

Djokovic joined by parade of newcomers in Wimbledon quarterfinals


WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Novak Djokovic reached his 12th Wimbledon quarterfinal Monday to pull even with Arthur Gore, who had a 117-year head start, while a parade of newcomers also made the final eight.

First-timers on the men’s side included Canadian Denis Shapovalov, Italian Matteo Berrettini, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary and Russian Karen Khachanov, who won a bizarre fifth set to beat American Sebastian Korda on his 21st birthday.

Women advancing to their first Wimbledon quarterfinal included No. 1-seeded Ash Barty, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, Tunisian Ons Jabeur, Karolina Pli?kova of the Czech Republic and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland.

Another upstart was eliminated when 2018 champion Angelique Kerber beat 17-year-old Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic, the two-time defending champion, held every service game to tie Gore and beat No. 17 Cristian Garin, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Three-time champion Gore first played Wimbledon in 1888. Djokovic made his debut in 2005, and they share third place on the men’s all-time list for most men’s quarterfinal berths, behind Roger Federer’s 18 and Jimmy Connors’ 14.

“It’s a privilege to break records in the sport that I truly love,” Djokovic said. “I’m devoted to this sport as much as I think anybody out there on the tour. I just try to do my best.”

Khachanov, seeded No. 25, outlasted Korda 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8. With both players battling fatigue and nerves, there were 13 services breaks in the final set, and for Korda, it was a disappointing end to an otherwise impressive Wimbledon debut.

“I’m still super happy with how the whole tournament and today was,” Korda said. “I fought my hardest. I don’t know what was happening out there. We just couldn’t hold serve.”

Khachanov will next face the No. 10-seeded Shapovalov, who hit 15 aces and beat No. 8 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.

The No. 7-seeded Berrettini became the first Italian man in 23 years to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals by ousting Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

The unseeded, 29-year-old Fucsovics became the first Hungarian to reach the Wimbledon men’s quarterfinals since 1948 by upsetting No. 5 Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach the quarters by rallying past 2020 French Open champion Iga ?wi?tek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Jabeur, seeded 21st, converted all seven-break point chances and enjoyed hearing happy fans singing at the end of her match.

“Tunisians are everywhere, I’ve got to say,” she said with a smile. “They were singing a football song. I felt the need to sing with them.”

Barty was troubled again by a shaky serve but saved eight of 10 break points and did manage an ace on match point to end French Open champion Barbora Krej?ikova’s 15-match win streak, 7-5, 6-3.

Barty has yet to play her best in the tournament but is the favorite to claim her second Grand Slam title. The Australian won the 2019 French Open and was the Wimbledon girls singles champion in 2011.

“I love coming out here and test myself against the best in the world,” Barty told the crowd. “And there’s certainly no place I’d rather be at the moment.”

Sabalenka earned her first berth in a Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Pli?kova, seeded eighth, has now reached the final eight at every major after hitting 10 aces and eliminating Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 6-3. Golubic ousted No. 23 Madison Keys 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Kerber, the only former champion still in the women’s draw, converted four of five break point chances to eliminate Gauff, who also reached the fourth round two years ago.

“Coco is such a great, talented young player,” Kerber said. “I’m really sure she will have a great career.”

No. 19 Karolina Muchova made Wimbledon’s quarters for the second year in a row by beating No. 30 Paula Badosa 7-6 (6), 6-4.





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