The gift of a towel to a spectator was a nice touch by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after smashing the ball into her torso. The next prize he must claim for himself, and that is the scalp of No 1 seed Novak Djokovic.
Tsonga set up next week’s engagement with a 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 third-round victory over Jimmy Wang. It is a pity to lose that name from the draw but by way of compensation Tsonga gave us the stellar match-up of the fourth round.
“I think it’s going to be a new opportunity for me against one of the best players in the world,” Tsonga said. “I think I need to play against those players. So it’s going to be a good match for me.”
This was the fifth day on the spin that Tsonga had appeared on court. At least he closed out in straight sets, two hours quicker than the three and a half it took to negotiate Sam Querrey in the previous round.
Tomas Berdych became the biggest casualty in the men’s draw in a straight-sets defeat to Marin Cilic. The Czech sixth seed slipped out to Cilic 7-6, 6-4 7-6 in a match that finished at 9.36pm, as the light faded from Court Three.
Lleyton Hewitt fell agonisingly short in his disrupted five-set marathon against Jerzy Janowicz. Only Pete Sampras has won more five-setters than Hewitt, 29 to 26, and going into the final set the Australian veteran fancied it might just be his day.
Resuming a set down, Hewitt fell further behind before rallying to take the big-serving Pole into a decider. There the fairytale ended for the 2002 Wimbledon champion, going down in three hours and 47 minutes 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 6-3.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov proved his new-found athleticism by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov in a grinding five-set victory.