copy short urlprintemail
+ A
A -
Qatar tribune

PA Media/dpa/Agencies


Taylor Fritz came from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev and bury the memory of his last match on Centre Court.

American 13th seed Fritz sealed his place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals with an epic 4-6 6-7 (4) 6-4 7-6 (3) 6-3 victory in three hours and 29 minutes.

Later, defending champion Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia easily beat Holger Rune of Denmark 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the men singles quarter-finals.

The last time Fritz played on Centre Court, in 2022, he came out on the wrong side of a five-set quarter-final against Rafael Nadal.

It was a defeat that left Fritz in tears for weeks afterwards, but it also turned out to be Nadal’s last appearance in Wimbledon, as such was the intensity of the match the Spaniard aggravated an injury which forced him to withdraw from the semi-final.

Fritz should have feared more heartbreak when he slipped two sets behind to fourth seed Zverev, a player who had yet to drop his serve all week.

But the 26-year-old refused to lie down and somehow dug deep to conjure up a famous victory.

“It was amazing to do that on Centre Court, being two sets down is like, it’s a dream,” he said.

“The thing was I feel like I was still playing really well, I thought it sucked to be playing this well and lose in three straight, so I took it one set at a time.”

“It was just a couple of points either way so I felt I could take it one set at a time and turn it around.”

Zverev was wearing a knee support having suffered a heavy fall during his third-round win over Cameron Norrie.

But on the server’s paradise that is Centre Court with the roof closed, long rallies were never going to be an issue as long as he kept booming down 135mph missiles.

In fact, the break point that Fritz forced early in the third set was the first Zverev had faced since last Tuesday.

That was quickly snuffed out, but when Fritz fashioned two more at 4-4, a Zverev double-fault finally gave the world number 12 a way back into the match.

It proved to be the turning point as the fourth set tie-break went Fritz’s way and then he broke early in the decider before celebrating match point, wide-eyed with his arms outstretched.

Fritz will next face Italian 25th seed Lorenzo Musetti, who is in his first grand slam quarter-final.

De Minaur triumphs

Meanwhile Alex De Minaur vowed to “find a way” to compete in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after he seemed to suffer an injury during match point against Arthur Fils.

The ninth seed continued his fine run at the Championships with a 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over 20-year-old Frenchman Fils on Court One to seal a maiden last-eight berth at the tournament.

However, De Minaur barely celebrated the fine volley which closed out the tie on his second match point and hobbled over to acknowledge Fils before he addressed his box with a shake of the head.

Asked during his on-court interview if he was OK, De Minaur insisted: “I’ll be all right. I’ll find a way.

“Atmosphere was unbelievable, super proud of myself to be in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, playing in front of you guys, so thank you.”

The Australian had raced into a two-set lead in front of girlfriend and British number one Katie Boulter before he was broken twice by a pumped up Fils to force a fourth set.

A break at the start of the fourth put De Minaur in control, but he failed to close out the match on serve when 5-2 up.

When De Minaur did finish the fourth-round clash with a volley at the net after a long rally, the 25-year-old stood almost motionless with a concerned look on his face as the crowd applauded, but kept his cards close to his chest when it came to his fitness.

“Great job mentally to stay with it, even though I couldn’t serve at the end, couldn’t hold my serve. I just backed my return so very happy with that,” De Minaur added.

“I am just excited to be in the quarter-finals, to have another battle, give myself a shot. Yeah, one thing you can definitely count on is me going out there trying my hardest and playing my heart out.”

copy short url   Copy