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HomeSportsRublev will play Djokovic at Wimbledon! The phenomenal Serb has already...

Rublev will play Djokovic at Wimbledon! The phenomenal Serb has already knocked down Sampras’ achievement

Date: September 30, 2023 Time: 02:43:10

On July 12, 2017, Novak Djokovic suffered his last loss at Wimbledon thus far. In the quarterfinals of the English Slam, the Serbian athlete lost the first set to the Czech Tomas Berdych in a tie-break, and at the beginning of the second game he refused to continue the fight due to injury. Later that season, Novak no longer played a single game and only returned to the courts in January 2018.

Six months after his return, the Belgrade native had just started his incredible winning streak in the English capital, which continues to this day. Djokovic four times in a row (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022) did not know the same at Wimbledon, thanks to which he brought the total number of titles won at the English Slam to seven. And judging by the shape the 36-year-old is in now, he’s not going to stop at this mark.

After all, now he has an incredible task ahead of him – to collect the Grand Slam – four titles in TBSH in one season. After victories in Melbourne and Paris, Novak came to London for another title and is moving very confidently up the tournament group so far. In the first three matches of the tournament, the Serbian athlete did not lose a single set, and the victory in the third round over the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka (6:3, 6:1, 7:6) allowed him to repeat another historic achievement.

Djokovic achieved his 31st consecutive victory at Wimbledon, equaling the American Pete Sampras (1997-2001). In the Open Era, the English Slam has only had two longer unbeaten streaks: the Swiss Roger Federer (40) and the Swede Bjorn Borg (41). Sampras’ winning streak in 2001 was interrupted right at the stage of the fourth round, when in a super tense five-set duel he lost at that time to the rising star of world tennis – Federer.

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Novak’s next opponent on the way to a new title was 26-year-old Hubert Hurkach of Poland. In personal meetings, Djokovic led 5-0. They played on all kinds of surfaces, including Wimbledon 2019. Then Novak won in four games: 7: 5, 6: 7 (5), 6: 1, 6: 4. In the same year, they already met in Dubai, that The fight ended with a score of 6: 3, 7: 5, as usual, in favor of the Serb.

It is striking that not only Djokovic, but Hurkach himself approached the match face to face without losing sets at this Wimbledon. Also, for nine games played, Hubert did not allow his opponents to make a single (!) break. Even Novak himself could not boast of such killer statistics in London, once, however, his service failed. This happened to him in the first round match with the Argentine Pedro Kachin. It’s no surprise that with such a great win-loss indicator on his serves, Novak and Hubert pulled off the tiebreaker in the first set on the move. And they did it incredibly quickly, spending just 38 minutes in 12 games played.

At the decisive moment of the match, the Serbian champions were the first to falter unexpectedly. With the score 3:3, Djokovic double-faulted, allowing the Pole to take the lead with a mini-break. Hubert very quickly turned this lead into triple set point, and here Novak already grabbed the opponent with absolute dominance. Taking advantage of the champion’s instinct and scrupulously picking up all the Pole’s mistakes, Djokovic won five draws in a row and left the tiebreaker behind: 7: 6 (8: 6).

It is worth noting that the most important play was played on the third set point, when Hurkach first served powerfully and seized the initiative on the move, but then made a serious mistake, breaking with a cross from the middle. court in the net Apparently, this offensive break only unbalanced the Pole, since in the next two draws Novak simply put up with it.

In the second set, Hubert began to miss his shot more often, which began to set up break points for Djokovic. In four of them (one at the start of the set, and three from the 0:40 mark in the eighth game), the Pole played solo, and in the fifth (also in the eighth game) there was a rare moment. . Hubert was at the net and miraculously reacted to a strong sweep, snagging the ball with a racket. Turning out to be a near-accidental kick under the net with reverse rotation, Djokovic ran for this ball, but trying to reach it, he fell over the net, still missing the court.

As a result, the second consecutive tiebreaker came, where Hurkach again missed a good opportunity. With a score of 4:4, the Polish athlete managed to make a mini-break and was able to win the game with the next two balls, because in both cases there were his serves. However, Djokovic made two mini-breaks in a row and was already serving out a set. From the first set point, the Serb could not win the game, but after a few minutes he did, already being at the reception of someone else’s feed – 7: 6 (8: 6).

For the sole Serb, this tiebreaker was the 14th (!) in a row, which he won on TBSH. The severe English rules did not allow the tennis players to finish the match on Sunday. At the end of the second set, the players had just over 20 minutes left until 11:00 p.m. London time, during which time they obviously would not have had time to finish the match. In order not to pause in the tense moment of the game, the organizers of the Major English decided to immediately stop the match.

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The tiebreaker of the match was scheduled for Monday. In general, Hubert knows how to make brilliant comebacks in the playoffs. His match with Daniil Medvedev is well remembered, only at Wimbledon in 2021. Then, on the second day of the match, the Pole managed to come back from 1-2 and achieved a resounding victory. But this time, the task before Hubert was many times more difficult. He had to recover from 0-2, and not from 1-2, and even that had to be done in a match with Djokovic himself.

In the third installment, the players continued to serve evenly, and this continued until the 12th game, when Hurkach went on the attack. The 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist grabbed double set point on reception and, from the second chance, he scored the first break of this match. At the second set point, Hubert went on the attack sharply and accurately hit the corner from the right, and the Serbian defender responded to the net: 7:5 in favor of the Pole. Then Djokovic lost the first set to him at this Wimbledon.

But the Pole was still unable to go to the comeback. Stretching out the game and turning it into a full marathon was not part of Novak’s plans. In the seventh game of the fourth set, the Serb latched on to his opponent on reception, delivered a series of spectacular rallies and still found a way to break an opponent who he served phenomenally. In the 68th game on his serve at this tournament, Hurkach for the first time (!) Allowed himself to break at Wimbledon 2023. And this moment cost him the whole match. With a score of 7:6 (8:6), 7:6 (8:6), 5:7, 6:4, Djokovic squeezed his opponent and booked a ticket to the quarterfinals.

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Thus, Novak, 36, extended his winning streak on the Wimbledon courts to 32 games, surpassing the aforementioned achievement of Sampras. Ahead were only the series of Federer and Borg. Meanwhile, Novak is scheduled for a quarterfinal with Russian Andrey Rublev. At the beginning of 2023, Novak and Andrey already met on a similar stage of TBS in Melbourne, and then no fight happened. Six months later, the 25-year-old Rublev will try to demonstrate the lessons he learned from the January loss, when Andrei won just seven games in straight sets. The quarterfinals between the Serbian and the Russian will take place on July 11.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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