Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic is into the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the 14th time after a curfew-delayed four-set victory over Hubert Hurkacz.
The 36-year-old Serbian was leading Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz by two sets when play was suspended on Sunday night.
Hurkacz took the third set but Djokovic came back to win 7-6 (7-6) 7-6 (7-6) 5-7 6-4 and book a last-eight meeting with the Russian. Andrey Rublev.
He said: “Big credit to Hubert for playing a fantastic game, hard luck for him. He put in a great performance.
“Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I felt so miserable in the return games, because of his very accurate and powerful serve.
“He has one of the best serves in the world and it’s very difficult to read it.
“But I think in the important moments last night I was lucky to win the first set. This match could have gone the other way but I held my nerve and I’m happy to win.”
Djokovic hadn’t faced too many break points in his previous 53 service games, so a third tie-break seemed inevitable until Hurkacz forced two at 6-5 and the Serbian dropped the second into the net.
Hurkacz fended off two break points – the first he had faced since the second set, some 17 hours earlier – at 3-3 in the fourth but when he fell to the baseline at deuce, Djokovic converted the third.
It was the first time Hurkacz had served at these Championships and it proved enough to see off the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Djokovic made it 25 consecutive Slam wins
Novak Djokovic made it 25 consecutive Grand Slam wins when he last lost to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in the 2022 quarter-finals.
“He’s a different player than Hurkacz, for sure,” added Djokovic. “He has very strong, quick groundstrokes, stays close to the line and has one of the best forehands in the game, likes to dictate … I’m not going to talk about tactics.
“I have to be ready. The matches will be more difficult. It’s hard to say that it will be more difficult than what I experienced yesterday and today, but I have to be ready for that.
“Rublev has been a top-10 player for many years and he is looking for his first semi-finals at a grand slam. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.”
Alcaraz tamed Berrettini to reach the last eight
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz passed another test to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time.
Pushed to four sets by Nicolas Jarry in the third round, the top seed had to fight back from a set down to defeat former finalist Matteo Berrettini 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-3.
Berrettini came out firing with his serve and shaking Alcaraz’s forehand but after an injury-plagued year he did not hope to maintain the momentum.
Alcaraz has been unstoppable since then, the run of former runner-up Berrettini torn apart at times.
He broke serve in the third game of the second set to tie the match and did the same in the third set as he accelerated.
A delay in closing the roof midway through the fourth set as the light faded gave Berrettini a break but Alcaraz quickly completed the win after the resumption.
Alcaraz showed greatness already
Carlos Alcaraz is the fourth player in the last 30 years to appear in the men’s singles quarter-finals at both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year before turning 21 after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“I know it’s very difficult, Matteo is a great player, he made the end here on grass,” said Alcaraz.
“He played well. It wasn’t easy after losing the first set. I knew I had my chances.
“This is something I really want. Last year I lost in the fourth round. I came here this year with that goal, first to get to the quarter-finals and now I’m looking for more.
“My dream is to play in a final here, to win the title one day. I hope I can reach that dream this year but for now it’s good to be in the quarter-finals.”
Holger Rune also advanced to the quarter-finals, becoming the first Scandinavian men’s player to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon since Robin Soderling in 2010.
The 20-year-old Dane came back from a set down to beat Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6 (7-6) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.
Medvedev to the first Wimbledon quarter-finals
World No. 3 Daniel Medvedev reached his first Wimbledon quarter-final after Jiri Lehecka was forced to retire with an injury.
The 27-year-old Russian was in control on Court One and was leading just two sets at 6-4 6-2 when his Czech opponent pulled away.
Lehecka received treatment during a medical timeout at the end of the opening set but initially battled some discomfort before opting for an early exit.
Biggest career win in the bank
Christopher Eubanks will jump into the top 30 of the rankings. Four months ago he was 119. This time last year he was 163.
Medvedev, who will compete with the American Christopher Eubanks in the last eight, said: “I actually didn’t (realize) until he retired,” he said of Lehecka’s injury.
“I saw that maybe his movement was a little bit but the way he was throwing the ball I thought it wouldn’t cause him any trouble but after he retired, I was like, ‘OK, I see something different’.”
“I feel sorry for Jiri. I hope he recovers quickly and has many more Grand Slams ahead of him.”
Lehecka showed some touches of class but his performance was marred by a series of mistakes and, ultimately, his health issue.
The 21-year-old struggled to deal with Medvedev’s power, with one of his service returns flying off the court and landing in a spectator’s drink.
Both players were forced to sit out during the sixth game of the second set due to a medical emergency in the crowd.
The affected spectator finally exited the arena with the help of medics after a delay of about 10 minutes.
Speaking about reaching the last eight at the All England Club for the first time, Medvedev added: “It’s probably my fifth or sixth Wimbledon and I’m not successful but I’ve never lost on this court.
“I feel sorry that all the quarters will be played at the Center (Court). I said, ‘can we just go here?’.
“I’m very happy and looking forward to the next game.”
Eubanks’ biggest knockout of his career
Unseeded American Eubanks hit 52 winners and made 56 unforced errors against Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas before reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a stunning 3-6 7-6 (7-4 ) 3-6 6-4 6-4 victory .
His impressive victory over two-time Slam finalist Tsitsipas followed success against British No 1 Cameron Norrie and set up a last-eight meeting with Medvedev.
“I feel like I’m living a dream right now,” Eubanks said. “This is absolutely crazy.
“When you paint all the context – I tried very hard to stop everything and just focus on the next match – it’s really, unbelievable.
“It’s a dream come true.”
Eubanks, ranked 43rd in the world, had won just two grand slam matches before arriving at SW19.
He made an unconvincing start to the competition on Court Two but fought back and beat Tsitsipas – Andy Murray’s conqueror – with 53 winners, including 13 aces.
Eubanks recently said he would not play on grass but is currently enjoying a nine-game winning streak on the surface.
“Those words will never come out of my mouth (again) for the rest of my career,” he said.
“The weed and I, we have had a very difficult relationship over the years but now I think it is my best friend.”