Djokovic Continues Wimbledon Charge With Garin Victory
The reigning Australian Open and Roland Garros champion did not drop serve and saved both of the two break points he faced en route to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory. Djokovic, who has now reached the quarter-finals or better on 10 of his past 11 Wimbledon appearances, improved to 76-10 win-loss at the All England Club.
“I am happy, particularly with the match today. After the third round [against Denis Kudla], it was kind of up and down for me," Djokovic said. "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 [the] first set comfortably.”
Djokovic has only dropped one set throughout the fortnight, in the opening round against British wild card Jack Draper. He has raised his level ever higher in the matches since, charging into the last eight with victories over 2018 finalist Kevin Anderson, American Kudla and 17th seed Garin, who was into the Round of 16 for the first time.
“You always enjoy obviously hearing those stats,” Djokovic said. “It's a privilege to break records in the sport that I truly love. I'm devoted to this sport as much as I think anybody out there on the tour. I just try to do my best.
“Of course, [records] are a motivating factor. I am aware that there are many records on the line. I'm not aware of all of them. They do inspire me to play my best tennis.”
Most Wimbledon Men’s Quarter-final Appearances (all-time)
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The World No. 1 will take on Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in the next round, after he stunned fifth seed Andrey Rublev in five sets. Djokovic is bidding for his sixth Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy at Wimbledon, which would be his third Grand Slam in a row – and a record-equalling 20th major crown.
But that’s not the only record that Djokovic has been chasing this fortnight. Should Djokovic win his third Grand Slam of 2021 – putting him three fourths of the way to a calendar-year Grand Slam – he would also be in firm control of the first position in the race for year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. With the 2021 year-end ranking determined by ATP Race To Turin points, the Serbian could be set for a record-breaking seventh consecutive finish at the top, breaking his tie with Pete Sampras.
Djokovic overwhelmed 17th seed Garin with a dominant service performance throughout three sets on Centre Court. In the first set, he won 100 per cent (12/12) of points behind his first serve, and he only lost one point in four service games. As a result he locked Garin out of the rallies, and teed off on attackable returns to keep the pressure on the Chilean.
Garin, who was the first player from his country to reach this stage at Wimbledon since Fernando Gonzalez’s 2005 run to the quarter-finals, raised his level at the start of the second set. He earned his only break chances of the match as he moved Djokovic from side to side on the baseline, holding points to go up 2-0. But the top seed held firm, tightening his grip on the match as he charged through the second set.
Djokovic reestablished his dominance in the third set, winning 91 per cent (10/11) of his first serve points. He broke serve twice more to close out the match and seal the victory after an hour and 51 minutes, booking a place in his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final.
The top seed completed a match without having dropped serve for the second time this fortnight. Djokovic has only been broken thrice in the tournament: once against Draper in the first round and twice against Kudla in the third.
“I served well and [felt] comfortable. That's probably affecting the game in general,” Djokovic assessed. “When I'm able to serve well [and] get a lot of free points on my first serve, when I go quickly through my service games, it just gives me more confidence and allows me to relax a bit more on the return games and from the back of the court.”