Novak Djokovic battles past Donald Young in Eastbourne quarterfinals | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Novak Djokovic battles past Donald Young in Eastbourne quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic, competing during the week before Wimbledon for the first time in seven years, saved a pair of set points in the second set before finally putting Donald Young away after a lengthy tie-break.

tennis Updated: Jun 29, 2017 18:53 IST
Novak Djokovic returns to Donald Young at the ATP Aegon International tennis tournament in Eastbourne.
Novak Djokovic returns to Donald Young at the ATP Aegon International tennis tournament in Eastbourne.(AFP)

Novak Djokovic overcame a spirited challenge from Donald Young, beating the American 6-2, 7-6 (11/9) on Thursday to claim the first of the semi-final places at the Eastbourne pre-Wimbledon event.

The Serb top seed, competing during the week before Wimbledon for the first time in seven years, saved a pair of set points in the second set before finally putting Young away after a lengthy tie-break.

The former world number one is rebuilding for Wimbledon after a poor past year by his world-class standards and is pointing toward the grass-court major as an immediate goal.

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Djokovic, who took a wild card into the tournament on the English south coast, is the second-highest-ranked men’s player ever to compete at Eastbourne behind then-number two Marcelo Rios in 1998.

With the rest of the field a round behind after two days of rain interruptions, organisers were playing catch up and praying for better weather.

Fourth seed and title-holder Steve Johnson finished off his contest with Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano, advancing 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

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Second seed Gael Monfils dispatched Briton Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-2 while number three John Isner staged a comeback to defeat Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4).

Australian Bernard Tomic surprised sixth seed Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-2 as Richard Gasquet, seeded seventh, beat Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4.