NOVAK DJOKOVIC is unbeaten for 25 consecutive Wimbledon games as he defied Merton Council’s nighttime curfew by 22 minutes.
The 35-year-old Serb made his first appearance on a grass pitch for the Champions Parade on Center Court at 1.45pm.
However, he only completed his victory in the fourth round against the stubborn wildcard Tim van Rijthoven on the first official middle Sunday at 10:38 p.m. under the roof.
If it had gone past 11 p.m., the game would have been canceled under the council rules and postponed to Monday.
In the end, Djokovic prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the 53rd Grand Slam quarterfinal where he will meet Italian Jannik Sinner on Tuesday.
Only three men – Bjorn Borg (41), Roger Federer (40), Pete Sampras (31) – have lengthy Wimbledon winning streaks in men’s tennis in the Open Era.
Djokovic, 35, said: “Thanks to Billie Jean King for staying to watch
“He was very tough, a new face on the tour, beating players in the top 5 in the world and he had a streak on that surface.
“He has a lot of touch and a strong striker. It took me a while to get used to his pace.
“Phew, that was close. I am happy.
“There’s more than 20 minutes to play – thank God! I already had experience playing two games under one roof with Rafa Nadal in the semifinals.
“It’s not pleasant when you can’t finish the game on the same day. I’m glad I did it and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Dutch debutant Van Rijthoven, 25, who unexpectedly won the title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch last month, has now lost for the first time in nine games on grass.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5695149/novak-djokovic-wimbledon-tim-van-rijthoven-curfew/ Novak Djokovic goes 25 games unbeaten at Wimbledon as the No. 1 survives fear of beating Tim van Rijthoven ahead of curfew