Wildcard Tim van Rijthoven is on a roll at Wimbledon.
The Dutchman took out 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili with an impressive 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a Round of 16 clash with Novak Djokovic.
Currently No. 104 in the ATP Rankings, van Rijthoven is just the seventh player since 2000 to reach the fourth round on his first main draw appearance at a major.
Three players ranked outside the top 100 are in the 4th round of #Wimbledon in singles
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) July 1, 2022
“From the outside it obviously looks like a fairytale because it came out of nowhere for a lot of people,” said van Rijthoven in his post-match press conference.
“Also, the ATP title for me came out of nowhere because I didn’t even win an [ATP Challenger Tour] title before. I played some finals. The level there is just also very high.
“But it’s basically a sum-up of a lot of hard work, a lot of belief, and eventually very positive vibes just going into matches and going into practices.
“That is basically what’s happening right now, it’s because of that.”
Van Rijthoven had not won a tour-level match prior to the tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch three weeks ago.
But the 25-year-old stormed to the title at the ATP 250 event in his homeland with a run that included victories against Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev.
He has maintained that form at Wimbledon.
Van Rijthoven dropped serve just once in his opening wins against Federico Delbonis and Reilly Opelka, and the Dutchman was the dominant force again in his third-round clash.
“For me the serve I think is working fantastic,” he added.
“I’ve only been broken the last, let’s say, eight matches a couple times. I think because of the serve I can just set up my game very well.
“I like to play aggressive, like to play a lot of forehands, also like to use my slice. I think all those things are very nice to have on grass.”
Heather Watson takes major step
Heather Watson reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam in singles for the first time as she overcame Kaja Juvan to reach the Wimbledon fourth round.
The British world number 121 raised her arms aloft in celebration as she withstood a late Juvan resurgence to convert her first match point in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 win over the Slovenian.
“It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end!” Watson said.
Recording her first third-round win at her 43rd Slam, the British number four clinched the first-set tie-break at the fourth opportunity before eventually confirming victory.
She received a standing ovation, returning to the court to enjoy her breakthrough triumph and placing her forehead on the ground to “thank the grass”.