Wimbledon 2019: Defending champion Novak Djokovic through to fourth round
|Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July|
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Defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic withstood fierce pressure from Hubert Hurkacz to advance to the fourth round at Wimbledon.
The Serb, 32, prevailed 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 against the 22-year-old Pole, who he beat in straight sets at the French Open in June.
Earlier on Friday, seeds Kevin Anderson and Karen Khachanov were knocked out.
"He was fighting. He was playing well, serving well and hitting clean and accurate shots," Djokovic told the BBC.
"It was a great fight the first couple of sets. He deserved to win the second one.
"I tried to focus on one point at a time, I just wanted to hold my serve and make him play. I played the perfect third set and also my fourth set was solid. I'm really pleased with the performance."
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With Hurkacz impressing, the first set on Court One went with the serve, until Djokovic finally managed to break his opponent - on the fourth break point - to go 6-5 ahead.
But he grew frustrated as the second set wore on, first having three break points foiled before Hurkacz thrilled the crowd with his acrobatics in several stunning rallies between the two.
Djokovic failed to capitalise on two set points as Hurkacz took it to a tie-break, restoring parity in the match at the first opportunity.
From there, though, he lost his way and allowed Djokovic to take complete control of the match - and the top seed wrapped up the third set in just 25 minutes.
He was broken early in the fourth set but managed to save break point at 3-1 down - however, Djokovic made no mistake in serving out the match.
Djokovic will play Ugo Humbert in the fourth round after the Frenchman beat Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime - the youngest player in the men's singles at 18 - 6-4 7-5 6-3.
"It's great we have a new group of young players challenging the best players," the Serb added.
"The shift is happening. How soon they are going to start winning majors we don't know.
"Hopefully not too soon - but it's great for the sport."
Anderson and Khachanov exit
South African fourth seed Anderson - who was beaten in last year's final by Djokovic - was knocked out with a 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-4) defeat by Argentine Guido Pella, who advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
World number 26 Pella, 29, will play Canada's Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
"I don't know how to describe this moment; this match was unbelievable for me," Pella told the BBC.
"I think I played unbelievably over three sets. He started to play much better but in the end I was focused for the entire match and it was amazing."
Anderson, 33, said: "He made life really difficult for me.
"He moves really, really well. I felt I had a pretty hard time keeping him on defence, finishing out the points. When I was able to do that, I had the most success."
Elsewhere, Russian 10th seed Khachanov was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who will face Frenchman Benoit Paire next.
Spain's Fernando Verdasco beat Italian Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 and will play David Goffin after the Belgian defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5.