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.
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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
Tatjana Maria 103
Tim van Rijthoven 104
Heather Watson 109#getty pic.twitter.com/cqGOe9Af6n
— 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.
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“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.”
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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.
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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.
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“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.
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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.
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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”.