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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday July 3, 2022

 
Novak Djokovic

The top seed ended the dream of Tim Van Rijthoven and notched his 25th consecutive win at Wimbledon.

Photo Source: Getty

On the day of Wimbledon’s centenary celebration, no one seemed to understand or appreciate the moment more than Novak Djokovic. After all the Serb has made Centre Court his home away from home in the last decade, so who better to put the court to bed than the six-time champion.

Tennis Express

He did so impressively, turning away Dutch man of the hour Tim Van Rijthoven, one of the biggest revelations of this grass-court season and the architecht of eight consecutive grass-court victories coming into Sunday’s tussle with Djokovic.

The 25-year-old did swindle a set away from Djokovic but the door was swiftly closed after that, winning 12 of the final 15 games as he emphatically finished off the wild card in two hours and 38 minutes, just about a half hour shy of the tournament’s 11 PM curfew.

“I knew coming into the match that it was always going to be a tough, challenging matchup against Tim, who I've never faced before,” Djokovic said after the contest. “I watched him play. He's got a really good game for grass, which he proved today. Was a very good fight, especially in the first two sets.”


Van Rijthoven relished his chance to play on Centre Court, despite the loss.

Chalk it up as a learning experience, a lesson from a true legend.

“I grew in the match, started to play better,” he said. “Actually got the second set. Then Novak did his Novak thing and played very, very well. He had all the answers.

“Yeah, I tried to make it more of a fight, but just wasn't possible today.”

Djokovic has dropped a pair of sets through four rounds, but he has only had to spend eight hours and 58 minutes on court, and should be energized ahead of his quarterfinal clash with 20-year-old Sinner.

“I have only superlatives and positive things to talk about Sinner's game,” Djokovic said. He has defeated Sinner in their only previous meeting, 6-4, 6-2 on the Monte-Carlo clay last season. “We all know he's very talented. He's already now an established top player,” he added. “I've seen him play many different surfaces in the last few years. He's maturing a lot on the big stage.”

 

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