Djokovic fights back to reach last eight
Originally published on 07/07/15
The two-time champion defeated Kevin Anderson 6-7(6) 6-7(6) 6-1 6-4 7-5 in three hours and 47 minutes after returning to court to complete a fifth set on Tuesday. Djokovic battled from two sets to love down to force a decider on Court One before darkness set in late on Monday.
In the early stages of the fifth set it was Anderson who looked the more dangerous, forcing Djokovic to fend off two break points. But after firing his 40th ace of the match, the South African followed it with back-to-back double faults to give his opponent the chance to break for a 6-5 lead, and Djokovic took his opportunity before sealing his place in an eight Wimbledon quarter-final.
He will now face No.9 seed Marin Cilic on Wednesday after the US Open champion defeated Denis Kudla 6-4 4-6 6-3 7-5 on Monday.
“It was a very difficult match, one of the most difficult in my Wimbledon career, that's for sure,” said Djokovic. “I was hanging in there. I was just trying, even though I was two sets down, to stay calm and mentally strong. I believed I could come back, which I did.
“It was a big challenge. Now that I managed to survive this challenge, it definitely adds more confidence and gives me this right state of mind.”
“Obviously there's a lot of positives to take from being in a position two sets to love up,” said Anderson, who was bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. “Coming today, I think really gave myself a good shot. I played some good tennis.
“Coming into this week, it was definitely my goal to progress further than I have at the Slams. I’ve been in the [fourth round] a few times. I came a lot closer this time than I have in the past. But I just wasn't close enough.”