Novak Djokovic of Serbia and American Sam Querrey started their third round clash of the 2016 Wimbledon Championship on Centre Court on Court 1 on Friday evening. The 28th seed, surprisingly, started the stronger of the two and hardly lost points on serve. The Serb struggled more in his service game but he held every time and after no player managed to break, the set was to be decided in a tiebreaker which the American won. In the second set, the American got an early break that made the world number one give up on the set, and Querrey took it 6-1. At that point, rain started falling and the play was suspended for the day. 7-6(6), 6-1 Querrey leads.
Querrey Clinches the First Set in a Tiebreaker
Querrey started the match better and didn't lose a point in his first three service games. Djokovic struggled more on his service games and only managed to win them to 30. The seventh game was a bit more interesting when the American got to deuce, but the first seed quickly closed the game and made it 4-3 in his favor. The 28th seed held easily in the next game and again put pressure on the Serb's serve by getting to deuce but that game went to Djokovic as well.
At 5-4 to the world number one, Querrey was forced to serve to stay in the set and he struggled a bit but managed to hold and leveled the set to 5-5. In the 11th game, the American found himself 0-40 up on Djokovic's serve but he couldn't convert any of the break points. Querrey was handed another chance to break but his backhand failed him when the ball hit the frame of his racket and flew out and the Serb ultimately held. At 6-5 to Djokovic, the 28th was serving to stay in the match again and force a tiebreaker and he did with absolutely no problem at all, holding to love.
Djokovic won the first point of the tiebreaker. Querrey kept up with the fine serving and won the next two points with huge serves to go 2-1 up. The American managed to steal one of the next two points on the Serb's serve and the first mini-break was his. The 28th seed claimed the next two points as well, on his serve, and increased his lead to 5-2. Djokovic didn't give up and reduced it to 5-4 but then Querrey won yet another point on serve and found himself with two set points. Djokovic was successful in saving both but an error in the next game awarded the American with a third set point and this time he took it to win the first set 7-6(6).
Querrey Sails in the Second Set; Takes it 6-1
Both players held to love in their first service game of the second set to make it 1-1. The Serb finally got his first break point of the match in the third game and he knew he had to take it because, with the way the American was serving, he probably wouldn't get many more chances to break in the set, if at all. Unfortunately for Djokovic, Querrey managed to save it with a great forehand winner.
They say who doesn't break, gets broken, and that's exactly what happened to the world number one in the next game; the American hit a couple of wonderful backhand winners but the double fault from Djokovic at 30-30 which handed Querrey the breakpoint didn't help his case. The 28th seed consolidated the break and went 4-1 up and that point Djokovic's body language suggested he was willing to give up on the set. The first seed didn't seem to even try in the sixth game and was broken again, easily. Querrey served it out and won the second set 6-1.
At that point, rain started falling and the match was suspended. Later, we learned there would be no play on the outside courts for the day, and play will resume on Saturday. Stay tuned and find out if Querrey was able to get one more set and upset the world number one or if Djokovic turned it around and won in 5.
A Look at the First Two Sets Statistics
Querrey was far superior on serve in the two sets played. He had nine aces to no double-faults while Djokovic only had four aces and committed two double-faults. The American got 69 percent of his first serve in versus only 63 for the Serb and he also won more points behind his first and second serve; 83 percent behind his first and 70 behind his second, an amazing statistic against the best returner in the world, while Djokovic only won 70 percent of the points behind his first serve and 44 behind the second.
The 28th seed also returned better in those sets, surprisingly, and won 40 points of the points on the Serb's serve while Djokovic, who usually excel at that department, only managed to win 20 percent of the points on his opponent's serve. This further demonstrates how good the American served on Friday.
Querrey also had more winners in those two sets, 22, to 17 unforced errors (+6) while Djokovic had 13 winners and the same amount of unforced errors.
Finally, he broke the Serb twice in the second set while Djokovic wasn't able to convert the lone break point offered in the course of those two sets, another testament to the excellent serving from the American.