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Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori advance to fourth round at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic beat Kyle Edmund 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, while Kei Nishikori beat Nick Kyrgios 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to advance to the fourth round of Wimbledon.

tennis Updated: Jul 08, 2018 02:57 IST
Agencies, London
Novak Djokovic,Kei Nishikori,Wimbledon
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning against Britain's Kyle Edmund during their men's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.(AFP)

Novak Djokovic passed his first real test at this year’s Wimbledon in impressive fashion on Saturday, coming from a set down to beat Kyle Edmund and reach the fourth round.

A three-time champion at SW19, Djokovic is seeded 12th on this occasion, with the Serbian still seeking a return to his very best form after significant injury troubles.

However, he certainly looked capable of reaching the latter stages once again - and potentially a semi-final against world number one Rafael Nadal - as he recovered from a shaky start to beat 21st seed Edmund 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

After struggling throughout the opening set, Djokovic responded to falling behind by adopting a more aggressive approach that soon paid dividends.

He will now face Karen Khachanov on Monday, while Great Britain are without a representative for the second week of the men’s singles following Edmund’s exit.

If there was a feel-good factor on Centre Court in the immediate aftermath of England reaching the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, it was soon enhanced as the home favourite claimed the first set despite landing less than half of his first serves.

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Djokovic saw chances go begging in the opener, but stepped things up in set two and deservedly levelled after repeatedly putting pressure on the Edmund serve.

The former world number one was certainly fired up, perhaps as a result of the support for his opponent from a partisan crowd, but looked firmly in control as he powered through the third set.

A controversial incident at 3-3 in the fourth left Djokovic understandably frustrated, with the ball appearing to bounce for a second time before Edmund got his racquet to it and saved a break point on his way to a valuable hold. The umpire and line judges also missed the fact the ball had drifted wide.

Edmund could not avoid being broken in his next service game, though, and Djokovic served out the match with minimal fuss.

Nishikori beats Kyrgios

Kei Nishikori equaled his best Wimbledon performance as he advanced to the fourth round by beating Nick Kyrgios 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

The 24th-seeded Nishikori of Japan won the first set in just 16 minutes, before seeing off an improved performance from his Australian opponent for the remainder of the match.

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Nishikori, runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2014, has twice previously made it through to the last 16 at the All England Club. He was defeated by Milos Raonic in 2014 and retired hurt during the second set against Marin Cilic in 2016.

Nishikori and the 15th-seeded Kyrgios, a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist, began their match on No. 1 Court only after 7 p.m. local time, meaning light was fading toward the end of the 1 1/2-hour match.

Nishikori next faces 138th-ranked Ernest Gulbis, after the Latvian became the first man in six years to reach the fourth round having come through qualifying.

First Published: Jul 08, 2018 02:18 IST