Monday 1 July 2013
Novak Djokovic might have been in action longer than he had anticipated on Monday night but was never deflected from his mission for too long. He defeated Germany's Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals and, like Andy Murray has not dropped a set.
Djokovic and Haas, who is 35, had different missions when they came to the Centre Court in the early evening. Djokovic simply wanted to maintain form and belief and reach his 17th Grand Slam quarter-final while Haas was looking to become the oldest Wimbledon quarter- finalist since Dutchman Tom Okker in 1979.
But in little more than 70 minutes Djokovic held a two-set lead and his command of the court left little doubt that he was the man who would claim victory.
Djokovic took the Haas serve in the first game and made two more breaks to win the first set after 25 minutes. In the second Haas managed his first break when he forced a forehand error on a second break point.
Djokovic quickly corrected his position, winning two more Haas service games and ended the set with a clenched fist salute after a forehand cross-court passing shot. However, more demanding times were around the corner.
Djokovic, whose Olympic challenge faltered at Wimbledon last year, now went for a quick kill. He had a fall on the last point of the fourth game without damaging himself and then won the sixth game against serve for a 4-2 lead.
But Haas was not quite finished and surprised Djokovic when the Serbian served for the match at 5-3. He broke back but at 5-4, Djokovic earned a match point which Haas saved with a service winner.
Haas forced a tie-break and then used his forehand to save a second match point. Finally, Djokovic marched on to the last eight when the German made a backhand error.
Djokovic moves on to face the Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals. He holds a 13-2 lead head-to-head but lost to him at Wimbledon in 2010. Djokovic said: "There is no reason I am concerned about my game. I am trying to combine offensive and defensive skills in all of my matches.
"It was a good match against Tommy. I had a bad record against him on grass. I just wanted to focus on my game and what I wanted to do. I was really glad to finish in three sets.''
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