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Novak Djokovic Beats Tim van Rijthoven, Advances to Wimbledon 2022 Quarterfinals

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 3, 2022

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic is through to the quarterfinals in Wimbledon following a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Tim van Rijthoven at the All England Club on Sunday.

Van Rijthoven upset No. 15 Reilly Opelka in the second round and took down No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in the third round. The 104th-ranked player in the world, the Dutchman was perhaps the biggest surprise participant in the round of 16.

Djokovic had little time for Van Rijthoven's Cinderella story in the first set. He earned a service break in the second game to go ahead 4-1 and up 5-2 broke his unseeded challenger again to claim the set.

Tennis Channel @TennisChannel

Stunning Play! ๐Ÿคฉ <a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> takes the first set over Van Rijthoven, 6-2.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/jiW5yahRsV">pic.twitter.com/jiW5yahRsV</a>

Some fans were probably expecting the six-time Wimbledon champion to roll from there. Van Rijthoven had other plans.

Serving at 1-2 and down 30-40, he held firm to deny Djokovic the break in the game. He then earned a critical break later in the set to jump ahead 4-3.

Djokovic was unable to extend the set despite having four break-point opportunities in the 10th game. Van Rijthoven displayed impressive resilience to level the match. He had 17 unforced errors in the second frame but doubled up Djokovic's nine winners

Jon Wertheim @jon_wertheim

Damn, Van Rijthoven is good...maybe not beat-Djokovic-good...but really good...And what a pity the guy gets zero ranking points - ie. he'll still have to qualify for events - after this. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#wimbledon</a>

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

Game and second set - van Rijthoven ๐ŸŽพ<br><br>Tim van Rijthoven seals the second set with an ace!<br><br>(6-2, 4-6)<br><br>It's his first appearance on Centre Court and he has just taken a set off the 20-time Grand Slam champion ๐Ÿ‘<br><br>Listen to live commentary on <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSounds?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCSounds</a> ๐Ÿ‘‡<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBCTennis</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>

At a different point his career, Djokovic might have gotten frustrated and allowed himself to make a number of sloppy mistakes following the second set. Instead, he was brutally efficient against Van Rijthoven in the third to reassert control.

Djokovic kicked things into another gear, and Van Rijthoven simply had no answer.

Patrick McEnroe @PatrickMcEnroe

And this set of tennis by Novak Djokovic reminds me a guy named Novak Djokovic

Sudipto Ganguly @Sudipto_Reuters

This <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Djokovic?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Djokovic</a> level in the 3rd set against Van Rijthoven is breathtaking and scary at the same time. You have to watch it to believe it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>

PropSwap @PropSwap

Djokovic after losing the 2nd set <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/A0aWVtic6L">pic.twitter.com/A0aWVtic6L</a>

The same story played out in the fourth set. The only source of drama was whether Djokovic would have the win wrapped up before the 11 p.m. curfew.

Josรฉ Morgado @josemorgado

Itโ€™s Djokovic against the clock atmโ€ฆ

Although Van Rijthoven made the 20-time Grand Slam champion work on nearly each and every point, he only had so many tools in his arsenal. He was fighting a losing battle from the third set on.

Djokovic will play Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals after the Italian dispatched of Carlos Alcaraz in four sets. They've faced off at an ATP Tour event just once, with Djokovic claiming a straight-set victory in the 2021 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

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