Wimbledon 2021: Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic win last-16 matches


Eight-time champion Roger Federer followed top seed Novak Djokovic into the Wimbledon quarter-finals as both eased through their last-16 matches.

Djokovic, 34, continued his bid for a record-equalling 20th men’s Grand Slam title with a 6-2 6-4 6-2 win against Chile’s Cristian Garin.

Federer, who holds the record alongside Rafael Nadal, later won 7-5 6-4 6-2 against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

The Swiss will face second seed Daniil Medvedev or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Russia’s Medvedev led 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 3-4 when the pair were forced off the outside court two because of persistent rain.

Djokovic will play Marton Fucsovics in the last eight after the Hungarian beat Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev.

The Serb will now contest his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final, with only 39-year-old Federer ahead of him after the Swiss reached his 58th.

Djokovic ‘playing with wings’ in SW19

Defending champion Djokovic did not need to find his best level, still having enough quality to beat 17th seed Garin.

Against Fucsovics, Djokovic is likely to be tested more than he was against clay-court specialist Garin on Centre Court.

The chasm between the five-time champion and an opponent who had never won a main-draw match at Wimbledon before this year was simply far too wide.

Djokovic served well and took five of his 12 break points, while the fact the Serb won 63% of the total points played demonstrated the one-sided nature of the match.

“I am delighted to reach the quarter-finals and I’m more delighted to see more fans on Centre Court,” said Djokovic, who won in front of a crowd which has increased to 75% of the 15,000 capacity.

In a nervous start, Garin was unable to win a point in the opening two games, with Djokovic breaking again for a 4-1 lead and clinching the opener without dropping another point in his service games.

After Djokovic had to fight off two break points in the second game of the second set, the Serb reasserted his authority to put pressure on Garin’s serve and claimed the decisive break as he won the final three games.

The 25-year-old Chilean came into the match with a 5-5 win-loss career record on grass and there was never any danger of that tipping in his favour.

Djokovic raced through the third set with two more breaks of serve, wrapping up the victory in one hour and 49 minutes.

The straight-set triumph means Djokovic has not dropped a set at the championships since losing the opener to British teenager Jack Draper in the first round.

“My confidence level is very high after winning the French Open,” Djokovic added.

“That was one of the biggest wins under those circumstances, particularly in the second week. It took a lot out of me but at the same time it gave me wings.

“The further the tournament goes, I feel like I am more confident on grass and I look forward to the next challenge.”

Federer moves through the gears

Sixth seed Federer turns 40 next month but his attitude towards success at the place where he built most of his legacy remains as sprightly as ever.

A lack of court time in the past 16 months, because of a knee injury which required two surgeries, left many wondering how the Swiss would fare this fortnight.

This was another improved display from the former world number one as he reached the SW19 men’s quarter-finals for a record-extending 18th time.

“When you’re young, you don’t ask yourself the question. But when you’re me, with the year I had, it’s all question marks all over the place,” said Federer.

“You have to prove it again to yourself that you can actually do it.

“It’s very rewarding and it’s a good feeling. Now we’ll see how much more I got left in the tank.”

The first set was delicately poised when a marathon 11th game was stopped – with Sonego about to try to fight off a fourth break point of the game – because of a rain downpour.

After a 20-minute pause for the Centre Court roof to be pulled over, the Italian 23rd seed restarted with a double fault to hand over the advantage – a cruel blow that left the fans gasping in sympathy.

Federer saved two break points before serving out the opener, then moved through the gears in the next two sets to seal victory.

“I felt after the first set I was able to control things,” Federer said.

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