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Djokovic reaches last eight

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Originally published on 11/07/17 00:00

The No.2 seed continues to perform with the intensity and focus that he’s been lacking for much of the year. He has extended his winning run to eight matches and is yet to concede a set in the tournament.

The three-time champion was always in control against his crafty French opponent however he did have a medical timeout for a right shoulder issue in the latter stages. He will hope to be in good physical condition for his last eight match with Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.

Djokovic made an impressive start under the Centre Court roof and he quickly established a 3-0 lead. Mannarino took time to settle and his punchy groundstrokes failed to trouble his rock solid opponent. The former world No.1 took the first set for the loss of just two games.

The Frenchman, who had won consecutive five-setters to reach the last eight, dropped serve in the first game of the second set. His level of play did improve, though, and his creativity helped him force a tiebreak.

Mannarino established a 4-2 lead in the shootout but he was unable to build on his hard-earned advantage. Djokovic won five of the next six points to snatch the second set and move a significant step closer to a 39th Grand Slam quarter-final appearance.

Mannarino continued to scrap in the third set however his time at Wimbledon was soon over. “It was a tough day yesterday, for both of us,” admitted Djokovic after his routine victory. “We were waiting an entire day to get on the court but we got on the court today and at least we were scheduled on Centre Court, which meant that regardless if it rains or not, we were going to finish the match.

‘I haven’t dropped a set yet at a grass-court event – at Eastbourne or here – and I’m feeling really good on the court. It’s something that I’ve had back and forth for a while now [shoulder problem] but I’m still managing to play, which is the most important thing.

Djokovic may have been delighted to reach the quarter-finals, but he was less thrilled about the condition of the surface. “The courts are honestly not that great this year,” said the Serbian. “Many players feel the same but it is what it is, and the weather obviously affects the grass.

“I’m sure that the groundsman knows his job the best in the world but grass is probably the most complex surface to maintain. It’s not easy, but I have played on better grass-courts.”

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