Wimbledon 2013: Novak Djokovic joins Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Del Potro in last eight - and prepare to battle for semi-finals

 

Wimbledon

Amid the chaos and the carnage elsewhere, the top half of the men's draw is the only element that has shown some respect for the form-book. By the end of manic Monday, the four seeds due to reach the quarter-final had all done so.

Novak Djokovic led the way, without for once being at his supreme best as he defeated Tommy Haas 6-1 6-4 7-6. A first set lasting only 25 minutes was misleading in that Haas, who according to his countryman Boris Becker is playing the best tennis of his career at 35, had his chances. He became the first man to break the No 1 seed this tournament, doing so twice, but had to be content with that as well as a brave third set in which he saved a match point but made a couple of tired errors in the tie-break.

As the match grew more competitive there were some outstanding rallies, one of which ran to 37 strokes. "He's a grass court specialist so I'm really glad to have come through in three," Djokovic said. He will now play Tomas Berdych, the seventh seed, who beat him in the 2010 semi-final here.

The Czech ended Bernard Tomic's fine run by 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-4 in a match that took a while to catch fire. With Tomic's supporters' club, the Fanatix, having failed to get show court tickets, there was a distinct lack of atmosphere on Court One. For two sets the serve dominated and each man won a tie-break until the match went haywire with three breaks in five games, Berdych taking two of them and then the set. The fourth set also finished 6-4 in his favour, so the one remaining Australian in either draw is out. 

One of the mysteries of tennis is how a player can find a match so difficult for an hour or more and then suddenly run away with it.

David Ferrer, the fourth seed, has become an expert in the genre over the past few days, twice struggling and then reducing opponents to gibbering wrecks.

The Spaniard had dropped at least one set in all three previous matches and on Saturday was 2-1 down to the Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov before coming through the last two sets 6-1 6-2. Yesterday he was at it again, dropping the first set against Ivan Dodig of Croatia on a tie-break, drawing level on another one and then racing through the gears 6-1 6-1.

Not that he seemed to know the secret, unless it was all a matter of confidence. "When I won the second set, the third and the fourth, I receive better, I play more confident with my game," he said. "And of course him take down"; presumably meaning lost belief.

Ferrer had caused a certain amount of consternation by not turning up on the far-flung Court Two until almost ten minutes after the scheduled start-time of 11.30, which he insisted was nothing to do with needing treatment. Unlike many at this tournament he has not been making an excuse of injuries, despite the odd problem with his ankle and toe.

In the early games he regularly held break points without being able to capitalise and should never have been taken to a tie-break. He then went 0-3 down and never recovered, netting a backhand to concede the set in just under an hour. The second set tie-break went his way and from then on it was all downhill, dominating the next two sets while conceding only two games.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Dodig had reached new heights by playing in a fourth round of a Grand Slam, albeit with the benefit of two retirements by opponents, Philipp Kohlschriber and Igor Sijsling.

Ranked 49 in the world, he can look back with satisfaction, while Ferrer prepares for a quarter-final against the eighth seed, Juan del Potro, of whom he said: "He's a very great player. It's going to be difficult, and in grass court I think is more difficult. He play better than me in grass court."

Ferrer did, however, beat the Argentine in straight sets last year before losing to Andy Murray in the quarter-final, when three of the four sets went to tie-breaks.

Del Potro saw off Italy's Andreas Seppi, the 23rd seed and a five-set specialist who never looked like going that far this time. Three sets and saving three match points in the last of them was the best he could manage in going down 6-4 7-6 6-3. Thus Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, makes the last eight without having dropped a set. It is the first time he has done so in this tournament, although he was bronze medallist in the London Olympics here, beating Novak Djokovic.

"All players feel nerves towards the end of the match and he made fantastic winners but I played really well to win the last two points," he said. "I'm so happy to be in the quarters for the first time at Wimbledon. I'm improving on grass and I like it a lot."                     

His assessment of Ferrer, who leads him 6-2 on head-to-heads, was: "He's playing fantastic this season and I think he's the favourite but I like to play this on grass if my knee is okay. It's really painful but I'm having ice all the time."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf