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Wimbledon: Djokovic enters quarters; newcomers hog limelight

Djokovic held every service game to beat No. 17 Cristian Garn, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

djokovic-wimbledon-afp Novak Djokovic celebrates winning against Chile's Cristian Garin during their men's singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon | AFP

Novak Djokovic reached his 12th Wimbledon quarterfinal on Monday to pull even with Arthur Gore, who had a 117-year head start, while a parade of newcomers also made the final eight.

First-timers on the men's side included Canadian Denis Shapovalov, Italian Matteo Berrettini, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary and Russian Karen Khachanov, who won a bizarre fifth set to beat American Sebastian Korda on his 21st birthday.

Women advancing to their first Wimbledon quarterfinal included No. 1-seeded Ashleigh Barty, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, Tunisian Ons Jabeur and Karolna Plkov of the Czech Republic.

Djokovic, the two-time defending champion, held every service game to tie Gore and beat No. 17 Cristian Garn, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Gore first played Wimbledon in 1888. Djokovic made his debut in 2005, and they share third place on the men's all-time list for most men's quarterfinal berths, behind Roger Federer's 18 and Jimmy Connors's 14.

Khachanov, seeded No. 25, outlasted Korda 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8. With both players battling fatigue and nerves, there were 13 services breaks in the final set, and for Korda, it was a disappointing end to an otherwise impressive Wimbledon debut.

Khachanov will next face the No. 10-seeded Shapovalov, who hit 15 aces and beat No. 8 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.

The No. 7-seeded Berrettini became the first Italian man in 23 years to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals by ousting Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

The unseeded, 29-year-old Fucsovics became the first Hungarian to reach the Wimbledon men's quarterfinals since 1948 by upsetting No. 5 Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach the quarters by rallying past 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Jabeur, seeded 21st, converted all seven-break point chances.

Barty was troubled again by a shaky serve but saved eight of 10 break points and did manage an ace on match point to end French Open champion Barbora Krejckov's 15-match win streak, 7-5, 6-3.

Barty has yet to play her best in the tournament but is the favorite to claim her second Grand Slam title. The Australian won the 2019 French Open and was the Wimbledon girls singles champion in 2011.

Sabalenka earned her first berth in a Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Plkov, seeded eighth, has now reached the final eight at every major after hitting 10 aces and eliminating Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 6-3.

No. 19 Karolna Muchov made Wimbledon's quarters for the second year in a row by beating No. 30 Paula Badosa 7-6 (6), 6-4.

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