Novak Djokovic’s straight-set victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino means the world number four has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
The Serbian beat Mannarino, ranked 51st in the world – 6-2, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a little over two hours in a match delayed from Monday. The match was delayed following Rafa Nadal and Gilles Muller’s lengthy four hour and 48 minute tie.
Ahead of his victory, the 30-year-old seemed to have complaints regarding the condition of Centre Court and also received treatment to his right shoulder during the clash with the Frenchman.
Tomas Berdych awaits in the semi-final, and though Djokovic’s is the bookmakers favourite the shoulder injury is a worry. When questioned over his niggles, he answered: “We’ll see. It has something which has been dragging back and forth for a while, but I am still managing to play.”
Rather than play the match on Centre Court on Monday following Roger Federer’s win over Grigor Dmitrov and postpone it until Tuesday was a decision that raised many eyebrows, with Djokovic’s wife one of many to question it.
As well as Djokovic’s shoulder struggles, there were concerns regarding Mannarino’s fitness as the 29-year-old appeared to be struggling from his two five-set matches prior to reaching the last-16. The world number 51 also looked to clutch his hip as Djokovic broke in his first set and whilst he managed to save two set points, he failed to stop Djokovic from claiming the first set inside 37 minutes.
However, a double fault from the victor, in cohesion with some loose play allowed Mannarino to break in the second set, eventually forcing a tie-break. However, Djokovic’s talent shone through and the 12-time Grand Slam champion managed to come through the extra points with much ease.
Though, whilst it seemed like a breeze for the Serbian, there remain several concerns regarding his shoulder. The 30-year-old called for the doctor twice during the clash and eventually called for a medical time-out in the final set.
Djokovic managed to persevere to see out the game and claim the win but he looked increasingly uncomfortable and was in obvious discomfort, flexing his shoulder after he double-faulted on match point. Still, he eventually managed to serve out the match to remain unbeaten on grass in 2017, quite a remarkable achievement.
Of his shoulder concerns, Djokovic added: “I mentioned there is a hole in the middle of the court to the umpire and he asked me to show him, which I did at the end. He was not too pleased.
“The courts are not that great this year, many players feel the same. I am sure the groundsmen are the best in the world, but grass is the most complex surface to maintain.”