Novak Djokovic Wimbledon opponent will ‘go in thinking I’m the better player’ in ‘dream’ opportunity
Novak Djokovic will take on a Tim van Rijthoven at Wimbledon who will be telling himself that he is the better player between the two come their fourth round battle on Sunday.
The Dutchman, who got into the Wimbledon main draw by virtue of a wildcard, extended his grass win streak to eight on Friday by defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
The result means van Rijthoven, 25, is into the second week of a Slam on his Major debut.
He won his maiden ATP title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last month, going from his first ever tour level victory to the title over the course of the event, defeating incoming world number one Daniil Medvedev in the final.
His biggest challenge of his run comes next though as he faces six-time Wimbledon champion and top seed Djokovic in the fourth round after the Serb defeated countryman Miomir Kecmanovic soon after the Dutchman completed his match.
In his post-match press conference, van Rijthoven admitted: “Before the tournament started, it was a dream for me to play [Djokovic].
‘So to be able to have that chance and to maybe even play on Centre Court or Court No. 1 is beautiful and magical.
“I go into every match thinking I can win the match.
“Also against Djokovic I’ll go into that match thinking I can win that match.”
Van Rijthoven has struggled below tour level for a good few years.
He mentioned injuries in his presser, including wrist surgery and some sort of arterial procedure.
As such when asked to clarify on his optimistic mindset, van Rijthoven explained: “That’s recent.
“Maybe like a couple months that I’ve had that mindset.
“It’s basically going into every match thinking I’m the better player.
“Even though it’s maybe not always the case,” he finished, smiling, his next opponent clearly in mind.
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