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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, July 5, 2021

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic dismissed Cristian Garin scoring his 18th straight major win to charge into his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Photo credit: Getty

Nature is a recharging force for avid hiker Novak Djokovic.

Racing across Centre Court's lawn with the conviction of a man running down hill, Djokovic streaked into his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal today.

More: Wimbledon War of Words

The top-seeded Serbian swept nine of the last 11 games dismissing a tight Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 scoring his 18th straight major win to to charge into the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 12th time.

Ruthless serving sparked Djokovic, who stung nine aces, won 36 of 39 first-serve points and erased the two break points he faced in a clean and commanding one hour, 49-minute win. It's Djokovic's 11th Wimbledon quarterfinal in his last 12 appearances and he's showing no signs of slowing.

"I am happy particularly with the match today," Djokovic said. "After third round, it was kind of up and down for me. Today was a very solid performance from the first to last point. I was mentally present. I was serving much better, using the court well.

"Cristian played for his first time on Centre Court. You could see he was nervous, making a lot of unforced errors at the beginning of the match, which gave me an opportunity to win comfortably the first set, which I have used.

"After that it was some close games in the second set, but I just managed to break his serve when I needed it the most."

It was a masterful match that sent a statement to the field and showed the depth in Djokovic's game: he won 23 of 29 trips to net and broke the Chilean's serve five times, improving to 31-3 in 2021.

The serving accuracy Djokovic showed on pivotal points in Paris was back today. The first-serve free-flow permeated the rest of his game.

"I served well and am comfortable. That's probably affecting the game in general," Djokovic said. "When I'm able to serve well, get a lot of free points on my first serve, when I go quickly through my service games, it just gives me more confidence, allows me to relax a bit more on the return games and from the back of the court."

Yeah, just very satisfied with the way I played today.

A march to major history isn't supposed to be as smooth as this one yet an efficient Djokovic now stands three match wins from capturing his 20th Grand Slam title to equal the major mark shared by rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Dethroning 13-time champion Nadal in Paris and rallying past Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set final for his second French Open title has been empowering for Djokovic. 

"Confidence level is very, very high after my French Open," Djokovic said in his on-court interview. "Two five-setters, two four-setters, it took a lot out of me. But at the same time, it gave me wins. It gave me confidence level I need for Wimbledon." 

The world No. 1 was drained after an electrifying run on Paris' red clay, but he's emotionally refueled and rounding into dominant form on London's grass. Since dropping the opening set of this tournament to British wild card Jack Draper, Djokovic has reeled off 12 consecutive sets with his lone test in that span coming in round three when he saved a set point in the final set of a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory over Denis Kudla.

Continuing his quest for the Golden Grand Slam, the world No. 1 will face Marton Fucsovics for a trip to his third straight Wimbledon semifinal.

Tennis Express

Contesting his 17th Grand Slam, Fucsovics fired through 12 of the last 15 games stunning nemesis Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3  to reach his first major quarterfinal. Snapping a streak of four straight losses to the Russian, Fucsovics is the first Hungarian player—man or woman—to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Agnes Szavay made the elite eight at the 2007 US Open.

The 48th-ranked Fucsovics withstood 10 double faults and saved seven of 13 break points becoming the third Hungarian man in the Open era to advance to a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Of all the remarkable records Djokovic has attained his mark of 50 major quarterfinals in 65 Grand Slam appearances are a testament to supreme consistency as he pursues a sixth Wimbledon championship.

The 34-year-old Serbian has won both prior meetings with Fucsovics, including a victory at the 2018 US Open though the Hungarian has won a set in both encounters.

"Obviously he is one of the greatest players. He won this tournament so many times," Fucsovics said of Djokovic. "He's very solid, very consistent from the baseline. He's playing one of his best tennis. He won the French Open lately, and now he's playing really good.

"This is the first time I reach the quarterfinal in a Grand Slam, so I just want to go on the court. Hopefully I get to play on the Centre Court, and I want to enjoy every moment of it."


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