WIMBLEDON, England – Novak Djokovic’s sore left arm prompted a grimace on Monday. It was a minor blip on the way to another victory at Wimbledon.
The top-seeded Djokovic, who is from Serbia, beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France for the 11th straight time to advance to the quarterfinals at the All England Club with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory on Centre Court.
Djokovic and third-seeded Andy Murray moved closer to a semifinal showdown that would be a rematch of the final last year, when Murray beat Djokovic to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936.
Murray beat No. 20 Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). They played under a drizzle for about 15 minutes before the roof was closed early in the second set.
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The roof stayed that way for Djokovic’s victory over No. 14 Tsonga.
Djokovic’s left arm bothered him in the tiebreak when Tsonga hit the net cord to move up 3-2. The right-handed Djokovic, who uses his left hand on his two-handed backhand, did not chase the shot, instead grabbing the upper left arm he landed on in his previous match.
The pain evidently did not last long and Djokovic had a strong finish, hitting a cross-court backhand service return on the first match point. He received treatment on his arm after the match but said he felt fine.
“So it’s still a bit sore because of the fall that I had a few days ago, but, you know, there is no damage, which is important,” said Djokovic, who has dropped one set so far. “It’s normal to have a bit of soreness in the muscle and around the joint. But thankfully I have a flexible shoulder, and it helps in these particular situations.”
Djokovic’s shot on match point was called out but he challenged and the replay showed the ball landed on the line.
“I’m just glad that I didn’t allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support,” Djokovic said. “It was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.”
Djokovic, whose schedule has not been turned upside down by the recent rain, said he understood why Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland complained after his third-round match was put off from Saturday to Monday. There is generally no play at Wimbledon on the middle Sunday.
Wawrinka advanced but noted he would have to win five matches in a week if he is going to win the tournament.
“I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday. … We have to rethink (that),” Djokovic said.
All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins said having past major champions on larger courts is more of a priority than getting all matches completed on a given day.
• The withdrawal of Madison Keys (leg injury) and a third-round loss by No. 9 John Isner to No. 19 Feliciano Lopez of Spain means no U.S. player will be in the round of 16 for the first time since 1911.
• No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard is the first Canadian woman in the quarterfinals here in the 46-year Open era. She beat No. 25 Alize Cornet of France 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.