In what was the biggest upset in the recent history of tennis, American Sam Querrey has ended the calendar slam aspirations of world number one Novak Djokovic on Saturday. On Day 6 as the 28th seeded, ranked 41st in the world Sam Querrey kept his nerves to complete a 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5) win on court no. 1.
In a match which had five rain delays and started late on Friday, the two time defending champion who completed a career slam and a non calendar slam with a win at the French Open on June 5, looked jaded and tired as Querrey put on a brilliant display of serving. The defeat ended a run of 30 consecutive wins at grand slams for the World No.1, dating back to June, 2015 where he lost to the Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka, in the final at Roland Garros in Paris.
The Serb trailed by two sets overnight but quickly had two breaks of serve to lead 4-0 in the third set before they went off with another rain delay. Querrey got one break back but lost the set 3-6. Querrey regained his serving prowess of the day before, as the 4th set commenced, and saved 11 break points in the fourth before dropping serve to go down 4-5.
Djokovic failed to serve out the set losing it on the seventh break point he faced in the set. There was another rain delay at the end of the eleventh game and when play resumed Djokovic held at love to force the tie-break. He took a 3-1 lead, but Querrey who served 31 aces in the two hour fifty six minute encounter was not to be denied on his second match point when the Serb over hit a forehand.
It is the earliest loss in a grand slam for Djokovic, since 2009 Roland Garros, and the Serb lost only his fourth match of the year. The match also ended a streak of 28 consecutive Quarterfinals in Grandslams for the 3 time Wimbledon Champion. Also ended was Djokovic’s 16 match winning streak at Wimbledon.
Alexander Zverev completed the only second round match in the men’s singles as he saw off the veteran Russian, Youzhny, 6-2 in the fifth set. On matches played on center court, the Queen’s Club finalists Andy Murray and Milos Raonic were hardly tested as they progressed into the last sixteen in straight sets. Both are yet to drop a set at the Championships this year, the second seeded Scot overcame the Australian John Millman in a routine 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 victory and was followed by the sixth seeded Raonic who hit 25 aces to win 7-6(2), 6-4, 7-6(1).
Querrey next goes on to face Nicolas Mahut who defeated doubles partner and fellow Frenchman Pierre Hughes Herbert 7-6(5), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Raonic will play the 11th seeded David Goffin of Belgium who beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. Another American Steve Johnson who won the warm up event in Nottingham, last Saturday, ended the run of the Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov with a 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2 win to set up a meeting with seven time champion Roger Federer who was the only male to reach the last sixteen on Friday.
The 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia and Kei Nishikori had straight sets wins over the Slovak Lucas Lacko and the Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, respectively, to set up a rematch of that final in New York (in 2014) which Cilic won in straight sets.
The only other player, apart from Murray, to reach the last sixteen in the bottom half of the draw, is the Australian Bernard Tomic. Tomic routed the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, and now awaits the winner of the match between the 32nd seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille and the Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, which was suspended with Pouille leading 2-1 in sets. Murray awaits the winner of a match with another Australian Nick Kyrgios and the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez which is tied at one set apiece.
Seventh seeded Richard Gasquet and 12th seed Jo Wilfred Tsonga could set up an all French pre quarter final as they are in contrasting positions of a two sets to one lead. Gasquet in the lead against Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain and Tsonga trailing against the 18th seeded American John Isner. The 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych takes on the 19 year old German Alexander Zverev on center court and the Czech Jiri Vesley will play the 31st seed Joao Sousa of Portugal on Court no 2 in the only two third round matches yet to start.
In the women’s section of the draw Jana Cepelova of Slovakia who had upset the French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain lost a marathon third set 10-12 to the seasoned Czech Republic player Lucie Safarova in a third round match lasting two hours thirty seven minutes. She goes on to face Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
Five time champion Venus Williams plays the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, while the Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber faces Japan’s Misaki Doi who had a match point in the first round of the Australian Open against the fourth seeded German before the German saved it and went on to claim her maiden grand slam.
Simona Halep easily accounted for the Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-3, and now faces a stern test against the American prodigy Madison Keys in the fourth round. Third seeded Agnieska Radwanska and 19th seeded Dominica Cibulkova are the only players to reach the round of 16 in the top half of the draw, while Americans Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, Italian Roberta Vinci play their third round matches on the middle Sunday.
Stephens though has a tough task as she plays the dual grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. The remaining two matches are between the Russian doubles specialist Elina Vesnina and the little known American Julia Boserup, and the 24th seeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic takes on Ekaterina Makarova who completed a day of upsets by beating the 2011 and 2014 champion Petra Kvitova in a second round match which resumed on Saturday with Makarova winning 7-5, 7-6(5).
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]