Djokovic makes no Tsonga and dance about injury

Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:08pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - If there were fears Novak Djokovic's double-fisted backhands may malfunction after a heavy fall on his shoulder three days ago, they were allayed on Monday by a show-stopping crosscourt service return on match point.

That effort left Jo-Wilfried Tsonga praying for a Hawkeye miracle - after the linesman and umpire failed to agree on whether the ball had kissed the line - while the wide-eyed Serb nodded his head and lapped up the cheers with outstretched arms.

Running to the net to shake hands with his French victim, Djokovic's celebrations were briefly put on hold as he discovered that his opponent had the temerity to challenge what the top seed thought was the shot of the match.

Seconds later the deafening roar that went on and on under Center Court's closed roof left no doubt to those inside, or outside, the hallowed arena about which way Hawkeye's call had gone.

The 6-3 6-4 7-6 (5) victory earned Djokovic his 21st successive grand slam quarter-final date - his sixth at Wimbledon - and a last-eight showdown with Croatia's Marin Cilic.

"I am feeling good. I had two days off and recovered a little bit," Djokovic told reporters after registering his 35th consecutive victory against French players.

"I had a couple of tough matches last week, especially the second round against Radek Stepanek, so it was good to win this in straight sets against a quality player like Jo and I am looking forward to the next challenge."

When Djokovic and Tsonga faced off for the first time, in the Australian Open final in 2008, many thought it was the start of a rivalry that would lead to both players battling it out for the big prizes for years to come.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 30, 2014.                      REUTERS/Toby Melville