London: Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a barrage from big-hitting Kevin Anderson to reach his seventh successive Wimbledon quarterfinal on Tuesday. The top seed came from behind to win 6-7 (6/8), 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 in a last-16 tie suspended due to bad light on Monday at the end of the fourth set. The Serb, who has now reached 25 Grand Slam quarterfinals in a row, goes on to face Croatia’s US Open champion Marin Cilic for a place in the semifinals.
Djokovic will be the overwhelming favourite for that match on Wednesday — he leads their head-to-head 12-0. Anderson, the South African 14th seed, fired 40 aces and 71 winners but committed 41 unforced errors. Djokovic crashed 43 winners past his opponent but hit just 19 unforced errors. “I think Kevin served exceptionally well. I found it one of the most difficult matches I’ve played in my Wimbledon career. At times I was really helpless with my returns. He was very aggressive,” said Djokovic.
“I thought it was high-quality tennis in the fifth set. I was two sets down. To come back and win in five gives me great satisfaction and confidence for the next challenge,” he added.
Sharapova, Muguruza make semifinals
Former champion Maria Sharapova is back in the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time in four years after a three-set battle against an American making her Grand Slam breakthrough. The fourth-seeded Sharapova was pushed hard on Centre Court by 47th-ranked CoCo Vandeweghe but lifted her game in the third set to win 6-3, 5-7 (3), 6-2 and advance to her 20th Grand Slam semifinal.
It took 2 hours, 46 minutes for Sharapova to subue Vandweghe, who had never previously progressed past the third round at a major but made the most of her appearance on the biggest stage in the game. Sharapova served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but couldn’t close it out. When Vandeweghe won four straight points to take the second-set tiebreaker, it was the first time that Sharapova had dropped a set all at the tournament. this year.The Russian buckled down and went up 3-0 in the third set. When Vandweghe broke to close to 3-2, she again motioned to the crowd to get behind her. But Sharapova shut down the comeback, winning the final three games.
Advancing to the semifinals in the bottom half of the draw was 20th-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain, who beat Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 7-5, 6-3 on Court 1....