WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for Novak Djokovic’s fourth-round assignment against Tim van Rijthoven.
02:00 (AEST), Mon 4th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Six-time champ Novak Djokovic has moved into the last 16 with a minimum of fuss, but he’ll be looking to step up a gear against impressive Dutch tyro Tim van Rijthoven.
The winner of the last three Wimbledons, Djokovic looked slightly rusty in his first grass-court hit-out of the season – a four-set win over Kwon Soon-woo in the first round – but has barely missed a beat since.
The top seed demolished Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-1 6-4 6-2 and put away 25th seed Miomir Kecmanovic in similarly emphatic style, 6-0 6-3 6-4.
World No.104 van Rijthoven made the tennis world sit up and take notice with his giant-killing capture of the S-Hertogenbosch title in mid-June. He defated Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime on his way to the final, where he crushed world No.1 Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-1.
Van Rijthoven has been equally impressive on grand slam debut. After overcoming Federico Delbonis in straight sets, the 25-year-old beat 15th seed Reilly Opelka in a lengthy four-setter then powered past 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-3 6-4.
It really has been a fairytale run for the unheralded van Rijthoven over the past few weeks, but it’s highly likely the Wimbledon ride ends here. However, Djokovic won’t be taking him lightly and will likely have to weather some storms to advance to his 12th quarter-final from the past 13 Wimbledons.