Novak Djokovic broke through the previously impregnable defenses of Hubert Hurkacz to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 14th time on Monday.
Defending champion Djokovic, seeking a record eighth title and 24th Grand Slam, won 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-4.
In the fourth set, Djokovic broke for a crucial 4-3 lead, ending Hurkacz’s perfect streak of 67 service games at this year’s tournament.
Victory in his 100th match at the tournament gave Djokovic a 90th victory.
He also has a 32-match winning streak at the All England Club, while his 56th Grand Slam quarter-final ranking is second only to Roger Federer’s 58.
“Big credit to Hubert for playing an amazing match, he had a great performance,” said the 36-year-old Djokovic.
“Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt this miserable coming back to games. He has one of the best serves in the world and is hard to read on one of the fastest surfaces in the sport. It wasn’t nice to me.”
Djokovic will face Andrey Rublev for a place in the semifinals.
That match will take place on Center Court, where Djokovic hasn’t lost since 2013.
“I feel a great connection to this court. Every game I win, every time I get on the pitch I feel more confident to play the game and hopefully the love story will continue for a long time,” he said.
Djokovic was down two sets overnight when the match was called off due to a local curfew.
He had wasted five break points in those sets and Hurkacz finally made him pay by breaking in the 12th game of the third set on Monday.
But Djokovic hit back to break 4-3 in the fourth and there was no looking back from then on for the 17th-seeded Pole despite his 33 aces and 64 winners.
Djokovic will take a 3-1 career lead over seventh-ranked Rublev in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Djokovic came out on top in straight sets at the same stage at this year’s Australian Open.
“He’s a different player than Hurkacz, for sure,” said the Serb.
“Very powerful, very fast groundstrokes, loves to dictate. I’m not going to talk much about tactics, I’ll keep it to myself.”
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