Here we are on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon 2022, and unlike before, the game is played all day. From 2022, the typical rest day on middle Sunday will no longer be. On Day 7, the first day of Round 4 (aka the Round of 16), we see Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, as well as Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, two of the four American men left in the tournament.
To find out what happened on Day 6 – a big blow of a day with the eliminations of Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Iga Swiatek and Stefanos Tsitsipas – Click here.
Check out the most important news from day 7 below.
Djokovic beats van Rijthoven to quarterfinals
Novak Djokovic is one step closer to winning his first Grand Slam since last year’s Wimbledon. He defeated 25-year-old Tim van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Initially it looked like Djokovic would quickly blow to victory, but van Rijthoven showed a lot of fire in the first set, especially with his huge serve, and that fire turned into a blazing conflagration in the second set. He started to get bigger and kept up with Djokovic in long rallies. With a score of 3-3, Van Rijthoven broke Djokovic’s serve to take his first lead of the game, extending it to 5-3 with another win. They competed in a very long 10th game, but van Rijthoven eventually took the set.
The 1-1 draw really set Djokovic off in the third set. He won the first three games with little opposition from Van Rijthoven, who just couldn’t keep up with the pace he had set in the second set. He showed some struggle in the fourth game, but Djokovic rolled the rest of the way to take a 6-1 win.
While Van Rijthoven kept things close for a second in the fourth set, Djokovic closed things quickly to win 6-2 and reach the quarterfinals, where he faced tenth seed Jannik Sinner.
Alcaraz loses to Sinner in battle for future stars
Carlos Alcaraz’s dream of winning his first Grand Slam will not come true at Wimbledon. Jannik Sinner, placed 10th, dismantled Alcaraz as good as 6-1, 6-4, 6(7)-7, 6-3. It was clear almost immediately that Alcaraz, the number 5 seed, was outdone by Sinner. They spat out the first two games, but then Sinner shed a tear and won the next five games to finish the first set in just 31 minutes.
Sinner created distance between him and Alcaraz in the second set, leading 3-1 and going on to win the set 6-4. Things got interesting in the third set. This time, Alcaraz was able to stick with Sinner and match him match after match. He even got his first lead of the entire game, but Sinner came back and equalized twice. So it was a tiebreak. Alcaraz took the lead for a while, but Sinner came back storming. Tied at 8-8 and facing elimination, Alcaraz was finally able to tie two points to win the set and keep the game going.
The only way Alcaraz could triumph was to win the next two sets, and he just wasn’t up to the task. He made a valiant effort, avoiding several match points to force Sinner to serve for the match, but Alcaraz couldn’t break him to keep it going. In fact, Alcaraz didn’t break Sinner once during the entire match. With Alcaraz just 19 and Sinner just 20, it was a battle between the future stars of the sport. Sinner came out on top – this time. We hope to see them compete in the years to come.
Jabeur to quarterfinals with victory over Mertens
Ons Jabeur, who is the highest remaining class in the ladies at number 3, won a tough match against Elise Mertens on Sunday with 7-6(9), 6-4. Jabeur seemed as confident as ever, but Mertens, placed 25th, was always close behind. Trailing 4-2 in the first set, Mertens came back to win and equalize two games in a row. She took the lead 5-4, but Jabeur is the number 2 in the WTA for a reason. She tied the score at 5-5 and then at 6-6. In the tiebreak, Jabeur was soon 6-3 behind and was ahead of the set point. But she climbed out of that hole to tie it, and she won the set. Mertens didn’t make it easy for Jabeur in the second set, but Jabeur eventually took control after they tied 4-4 and won the next two games to advance to her second Wimbledon quarter-final.
Williams and Murray lose heartthrob mixed doubles
Venus Williams, back on Wimbledon grass for the first time since 2021, and Jamie Murray, brother of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, lost their mixed doubles to Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara on Sunday. It was a real heartthrob for Williams and Murray, who won the first set and dropped the second to force a tiebreak. And what a tiebreak it was. Each pair stuck together point by point, shot by shot. At 10-10 it was already a long tiebreak. At 16-16 it felt like it could go on forever. But then Barnett and O’Mara took a 17-16 lead and sealed their win at the next run.
After Williams and Murray won their previous match, a BBC reporter asked them if they were competing to win the match, or if they were watching it match by match. Williams gave the best and only answer she could give: “What kind of question is that?”
That reporter could be even more embarrassed now, as there was no doubt Williams would win on Sunday. She was intense and empathetic, even challenging a point late in the match, something she rarely does. It was great to see her so excited after a year away from the competition, and hopefully it won’t be the last time fans can see her. If she plans to retire, she deserves a proper goodbye.
Tiafoe eliminated after Goffin comeback
This looked to be the year for 24-year-old American Frances Tiafoe to make it to the later rounds, but he lost a heartthrob match to Belgian David Goffin, who made a comeback and won 7-6 (3) , 5 -7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in a battle that lasted four hours and 35 minutes.
The match was an entertaining and exciting battle, which started with a tiebreak in the first set. Goffin emerged as the winner, but Tiafoe then worked his way to a 2-1 lead. After the third set, Tiafoe called the trainer out for what the broadcast said was stomach trouble, took a pill, then dropped seven straight points. He lost the fourth set and after going down 2-1 in the fifth set, he broke a chair on the sidelines with his racket. Tiafoe managed to make a comeback by leveling the set at 5-5 but was unable to close, losing the last two games to end his quarter-final deficit.
Norrie beats Paul
The day started with two American men having a shot at making it to the quarterfinals, and it ended when they both went home. Not only did Tiafoe go to Goffin, but Tommy Paul also fell for Cameron Norrie from the UK. Norrie, who is now the only British player left in the men’s and women’s singles draws, won 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Paul had plenty of chances to turn the game around, pretty much in every set. But he couldn’t cash in on any of them. Norrie is the UK’s only hope of a home singles winner, while the US’s hopes now rest on Taylor Fritz and Brandon Nakashima, who will both play Monday.
Ostapenko upset by Maria
12 seed Jelena Ostapenko was upset by unseeded Tatyana Maria, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. As the score indicates, this was a very close match from start to finish. At one point, Maria had to save two set points to keep the match going. Maria, who is from Germany, has taken two tennis breaks to have children, and less than a year ago she came back from her second maternity leave. Now at the age of 34, she is in her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal and is now the oldest woman in the Open Era to make her quarterfinal debut at Wimbledon. A tennis crowd loves an underdog and Maria was energized by their support and after the game thanked the spectators for being there to encourage her at every point. Ostapenko, frustrated by the lack of support from the spectators, did not recognize the crowd as she left.
Roger Federer returns to Wimbledon for center court ceremony
It doesn’t feel like Wimbledon without eight-time champion Roger Federer. And although he won’t be competing this year due to a knee injury, he made a surprise appearance on Wimbledon’s biggest stage on Sunday to celebrate 100 years of center court, the anniversary of Wimbledon’s move to Church Road.
Many Wimbledon champions attended, including Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Billie Jean King. There were also many one-time winners, starting with 90-year-old Angela Mortimer, who won Wimbledon in 1961.
But the biggest moment came when Federer was introduced. The crowd went wild when his name was announced and he walked through the doors to center court.
Federer didn’t quite announce his retirement, but he knows the end is near. He will wait at least another year and tell the public that he would like to play at Wimbledon one more time before calling it a career.
“I hope I can come back one day,” Federer said. “I missed it here.”
Other Notable Results
Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic continued her breakthrough at Wimbledon, beating France’s Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2. Bouzkova lost one set to Danielle Collins in round 1, and has since won eight straight sets. When she plays on Tuesday, it will be her first appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Jule Niemeier also made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal on Sunday, beating Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4. Fans at Wimbledon have waited 77 years for a British player to win the women’s singles championship, and as Watson was the last British player in the women’s draw, they will have to wait at least another year.
This post will be updated throughout the day.