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Djokovic tames Hewitt in four-set thriller
July 05, 2007 21:13 IST
Novak Djokovic shrugged off a sore back to squeeze past former champion Lleyton Hewitt [Images] 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 and reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time on Thursday.
Just a month after reaching the Roland Garros semis, fourth seed Djokovic proved his grasscourt credentials in an electrifying fourth-round encounter on Court One.
In a tussle lasting more than four hours and full of gruelling rallies, lunging reaches and tossed rackets, Djokovic eventually broke the dogged resilience of Hewitt.
The Australian 16th seed's exit, his first before the quarter-final here since 2003, means that world number one Roger Federer [Images] is the only former champion left in the men's draw.
Djokovic will next face Cypriot 10th seed Marcos Baghdatis for a place in the semi-final.
Baghdatis reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the second year running, beating Russian grinder Nikolay Davydenko 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
The Cypriot was roared on by a raucous bunch of fans out on Court 13 and the 10th seed obliged with some swashbuckling tennis in the delayed fourth-round clash.
Baghdatis came from 5-3 down in the first set tiebreak to get on top and he again showed the greater adventure when it mattered to get through the second set tiebreak.
Sixth seed Davydenko, one of the most durable players on the circuit has enjoyed his best showing at Wimbledon this year but try as he might, he could find no way back in after dropping his serve early in the third.
Baghdatis set up a matchpoint at 5-3 when he won a rally despite slipping over during the points. Davydenko saved that with a volley, but Baghdatis made no mistake on his second opportunity, belting away a backhand winner.