Djokovic beats Tsonga to reach quarterfinals
LONDON (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s sore left arm prompted a grimace on Monday. It was a minor blip on the way to another victory at Wimbledon.
The top-seeded Serbian beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the 11th straight time to advance to the quarterfinals at the All England Club with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory.
His left arm bothered him in the tiebreak when Tsonga hit the net cord to move up 3-2. The right-handed Djokovic, who uses his left hand on his two-handed backhand, did not chase the shot, instead grabbing the upper left arm he landed on in his prior match.
The pain did not last long and Djokovic finished strongly, hitting a cross-court backhand service return on the first match point. He received treatment on his arm after the match but said he felt fine.
“So it’s still a bit sore because of the fall that I had a few days ago, but, you know, there is no damage, which is important,” said Djokovic, who has dropped one set so far in the tournament. “It’s normal to have a bit of soreness in the muscle and around the joint. But thankfully I have a flexible shoulder, and it helps in these particular situations.”
Djokovic’s shot on match point was called out but he challenged and the replay showed the ball landed on the line.
He then celebrated fiercely, holding out his arms in a look-at-me pose.
“I’m just glad that I didn’t allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support,” Djokovic said. “It was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.”
Djokovic, the 2011 champion who lost in last year’s final to Andy Murray, broke the 14th-seeded Frenchman twice and saved both break points he faced.
He next plays his good friend Marin Cilic of Croatia.
The match was played under the roof on Centre Court and Djokovic, whose schedule has not been turned upside down by the recent rain, said he understood why Australian champion Stan Wawrinka complained after his third-round match was put off from Saturday to Monday. There is generally no play at Wimbledon on the middle Sunday.
Wawrinka advanced to the fourth round on Monday but noted he would have to win five matches in a week if he’s going to win the tournament.
“I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday. ... We have to rethink (that),” Djokovic said. “We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here ... and we respect that. But there are some rules that I believe should be updated.”