Novak Djokovic knocked out of Wimbledon by Sam Querrey

NovakThe unthinkable has happened. Novak Djokovic’s bid for a fourth Wimbledon title, a fifth straight grand slam crown and the third leg of the coveted calendar year grand slam came crashing down in a barrage of aces on Saturday as he was beaten 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 by the American Sam Querrey. It is the first time the world No1 has gone out before the quarter-finals in a grand slam since the 2009 French Open and with him gone, the men’s title is there for the taking.

The No28 seed, who had only gone past the third round here once, in 2010, hit 31 aces and, most importantly of all, held his nerve under pressure to earn the biggest victory of his career and blast a hole in the top half of the draw.

“It’s incredible, especially to do it here at Wimbledon,” Querrey said. “I’m just so ecstatic right now, so happy. Today, I played the break points really well, Every time I had a break point I was able to come up with a big serve and then in the tiebreak I hung in there and got a couple of loose points and that was it.”
Live Wimbledon 2016: Novak Djokovic knocked out by Sam Querrey – live!
It’s a busy day at SW19 with the men’s world No1 in deep trouble against big-serving American Sam Querrey. Join Jacob Steinberg
Read more

When the two men resumed at noon having been held overnight, with Querrey two sets up, the consensus was still that Djokovic, the master of extricating himself from difficult situations, would find a way back and that the 28-year-old Querrey, not exactly renowned as a mental giant, would fall apart once he realised how close he was to such a massive win.

But though he won the third set easily enough, Djokovic looked listless, strangely out of sorts and unable to find the rhythm and accuracy that has dominated the game for the past few years. Usually so aggressive, he was pushing the ball, especially on his backhand, while the pace of his serve dropped alarmingly as the fourth set wore on.

He had his chances. After another rain break at 1-1 in the fourth, before which he missed three break points in the opening game, he missed another three in the next game. He saved two of his own at 2-1 and having missed two more himself, saved three more at 3-2 as Querrey tightened up. He broke to lead 5-4 only to falter, netting a forehand volley to give the break back. Querrey held for 6-5 before another rain delay – this time of just over an hour – left Djokovic needing to hold to stay in the match.

He managed that, holding to love, but in the tie-break, he squandered a 3-1 lead and then after saving one match point at 4-6 with an ace, he pulled a forehand wide to hand a jubilant Querrey victory.

Querrey now plays the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. “I am just going to be happy with this right now and look forward to the next round a little bit,” he said.

Djokovic late confirmed that he will not play for Serbia when they face Great Britain in the Davis Cup quarter-final on 15-17 July.

Please follow and like us:


Write a comment

2+8 = ?