Djokovic confident big three dominance can continue for a long time to come

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08 July 2019, 21:16

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Novak Djokovic is not forecasting a changing of the guard at the top end of men’s tennis any time soon after he, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all cruised into the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

The world’s top three players, with 53 grand slams between them, all had the easiest of afternoons on Monday that was anything but manic for them, dropping just 19 games across their three matches.

Djokovic beat French rookie Ugo Humbert in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-2 6-3 as their dominance of the game was laid bare.

Federer posted the fastest ever fourth round win at Wimbledon, beating Matteo Berrettini 6-1 6-2 6-2 in 74 minutes while Nadal beat Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 6-2.

The champion this year looks sure to come from one of those three men as the next generation of players struggle to get anywhere near them on the biggest stage.

Asked why that continues to be the case, Djokovic said: “I have no explanation for that. I leave it to you to understand why.

“I think we are working as hard as anybody really to be there.

“It’s great that I’m one of these three guys and still very successful.

“We talked about it many times, of course, that you see new faces in sport.

“Young guys will eventually replace us at the top spots of the world. This is going to happen? When? Hopefully not too soon, but it’s going to happen.

“I guess we don’t want that to happen soon.”

Even Federer was surprised at just how easy his 99th SW19 victory was.

“I felt good today,” he said. “It’s also been a week. Now we’re two weeks into Wimbledon essentially, with one week of matches having been played.

“Obviously today was excellent. I was very happy. I was expecting a tough match and a close one with not many chances. It was actually quite the opposite, so that was great.”

Federer will meet Kei Nishikori after he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to make his 12th grand slam quarter-final.

While Nadal was not troubled by Sousa, he was embroiled in a debate over scheduling, with reporters questioning why he was on Centre Court when women’s top seed Ashleigh Barty was on the Court Two outpost.

“I am the world two and I won 18 grand slams,” Nadal said. “My answer is not no or yes. My answer is they make a decision.

“You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me. For me, both decisions are good.

“In the world of tennis today, honestly, my feeling is today I am little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if Ashleigh Barty is the first player of the world and she already won in the French Open and she is playing unbelievably good.”

Guido Pella came from two sets down to beat 2016 finalist Milos Raonic.

The Argentinian, in his first ever grand slam quarter-final, won 3-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (3) 8-6.

David Goffin has always believed he has had the game to be a success at Wimbledon after posting his best-ever run at the All England Club.

The Belgian won 7-6 (9) 2-6 6-3 6-4 against Fernando Verdasco to set up a meeting with Djokovic in the next round.

“I’d say it’s an amazing feeling, especially here,” he said. “I knew that it’s my favourite tournament, and I knew that I had the game to play well on grass.”

Roberto Bautista Agut is also enjoying his best performance thanks to a brisk straight-sets victory over Benoit Paire, winning 6-3 7-5 6-2.

Sam Querrey is back in the last eight of Wimbledon after a four-set victory against his compatriot Tennys Sandgren. Querrey, who reached the semi-final in 2017, won 6-4 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5).

- Press Association

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breakingnews business added by Rajan Marshall

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