American Sam Querrey has pulled off easily the biggest win of his career by sensationally dumping Novak Djokovic out of the tournament 7-6 6-1 3-6 7-6. It will go down as one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history. With the world No.1 in seemingly invincible form having won the non-calendar year grand slam and on a record 30-match win streak in grand slam matches, no one saw this result coming.
The third-round exit is the Serb’s earliest from a major since the 2009 French Open, when he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber, also in the third round. It is his first slam defeat since losing to Stan Wawrinka at last year’s French Open final.
Resuming play at two sets down, Djokovic raced to a 4-0 lead before rain halted play again, but the Serb managed to close out the set 6-3. Normal order appeared to have been restored.
However, Querrey then had break points to go up 4-2 in the fourth and be just two service holds away from a famous win. He couldn’t.
Then, later, Djokovic had his chance to serve out the set at 5-4. He couldn’t.
Ultimately, Querrey’s serve, which had rescued him so many times on break point down, did the damage in the tie-breaker as Novak looked unusually tight.
The Californian native, seeded 28th, will next play Nicolas Mahut for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Querrey to the BBC: “It’s incredible, especially to do it here at Wimbledon. I’m so ecstatic, so happy. I think today I played the break points well. Every time he had a break point, I was able to come up with a big serve.”
A philosophical Djokovic: “I had my chances maybe in the fourth set, serving for the set. In the tiebreak I was leading. Just wasn’t feeling the ball as well as I wished. But that’s sport.”
There was a hint that Djokvic was under an injury cloud, but in the press conference he said, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and confirmed he would not participate in Serbia’s Davis Cup tie against Great Britain later this month.
Andy Murray, who has been runner-up to Djokovic at the last two slam finals, eased past Australian John Millman in straight sets. The Scot has to see Djokovic’s departure as a golden opportunity to win his third major.
In another upset, two time champion Petra Kvitova, with 43 unforced errors, was ousted by fellow lefty Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 7-6 in the final second-round match to be completed. The 2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard was also knocked out by 18th seed Dominika Cibulkova, but there were wins for Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber.