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Djokovic vs Goffin Wimbledon QF Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Defending champion, Djokovic faces Goffin in Wimbledon quarter finals

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 10 Jul 2019
  • Novak Djokovic vs David Goffin is live from Wimbledon on Wednesday, 10 July from 1:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
  • Djokovic leads the head-to-head 5-1, but Goffin won their most recent meeting in 2017
Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM)

World No. 1, Novak Djokovic contests his 11th Wimbledon quarter final on Wednesday as he takes on former world No. 7, David Goffin on Centre Court.

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Djokovic has won eight of his previous ten Wimbledon quarter finals, with his only defeats coming in 2009, against Tommy Hass, and 2017, against Tomas Berdych, when he retired with that infamous elbow injury that forced him to miss the rest of that season, and required surgery at the start of the 2018 season.

That story is well-documented- Djokovic launching a remarkable recovery in the second half of 2018, rising from outside the top-20 to finish the year at No. 1 after powering to Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and Masters 1000 crowns in Cincinnati and Shanghai. The Serbian made it three Grand Slam titles in a row when he won the Australian Open at the start of 2019, but he fell short in his bid for a clean sweep of Slams for a second time in his career, losing to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the French Open.

The world No. 1 has not quite been as ruthless this year as he was in the second half of last season- there was a period after the Australian Open when he had a brief lull, losing before the quarter finals at Indian Wells and Miami, and falling to Daniil Medvedev in the last eight in Monte Carlo, but he got much better as the clay-court season progressed, and has looked relatively secure on the grass of Wimbledon.

Djokovic is seeking a fifth Wimbledon title, which would put him at par with Bjorn Borg in third on the Open Era list- only Roger Federer with eight, and Pete Sampras with seven have more than five Wimbledon crowns.

The world No. 1 opened with straight-sets victories over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Denis Kudla, while he recovered from the loss of the second set against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz to take down the Pole in four. The 32-year-old had no such troubles against Ugo Humbert in the fourth round, dismissing the French young gun 6-3 6-2 6-3. Djokovic won 78% of points on his first serve, and 80% of points on his second, winning a very impressive 16 of 20 points behind his second serve, and offering no break point throughout the hour and 44-minute contest. The Serbian hit 25 winners and 14 unforced errors, and was 15 of 18 in the forecourt.

“I played against a very talented player today who made some big wins this tournament, and definitely has a potential to reach big heights in tennis because he's got quite an all-around game,” Djokovic said. “It obviously was a big occasion, his first time in the last 16. I managed to get early breaks in both sets. I think that helped. I think as the match progressed, I played better and better. Very, very pleased with performance”. 
 “I think it's exactly what I was looking for and what I needed.”

Not that Djokovic needed it, but the top half of the Wimbledon draw has opened up for him, with Goffin, at No. 21, being the first seeded player he will face all tournament. If he gets through the Belgian, he will take on Guido Pella or Roberto Bautista-Agut in the semi-finals (!).

Goffin is competing in the quarter finals at Wimbledon for the first time in his career, as he continues his resurgent form on grass. It’s his third Grand Slam quarter final, having made the last eight at Roland Garros in 2016, and the Australian Open in the following year. 

The Belgian is now 10-2 on grass, following a quarter final run in s-Hertogenbosch, runner-up finish in Halle (lost to Roger Federer), and now the quarter finals at Wimbledon. Goffin opened with successive straight sets victories over Bradley Klahn and Jeremy Chardy, before coming through a three-and-a-half-hour five-set slug in the third round against Daniil Medvedev, fighting back from two-sets-to-one down, and from 4-1 down in the final set to squeeze past the Russian 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5. That was followed by another three-hour contest, as he battled past Fernando Verdasco 7-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday.

“I knew that it's my favourite tournament, and I knew that I had the game to play well on grass,” said Goffin. “To reach the quarter-finals for the first time, it means a lot, and especially because a few months [ago], I had tough moments on the court, tough moments off the court. Now, to be back with my best tennis, especially here, it's the perfect place and the perfect moment.”

Goffin has rarely played his best tennis since the end of 2017, when he won titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo, and was runner-up at the Nitto ATP Finals, ending the year at No. 7. He was held back by injuries and loss of form in 2018, and ended the year outside the top 20, and while he briefly broke back into that bracket for a couple of weeks in March (he was ranked 20th after Indian Wells), he has remained outside the top 20 for most of 2019.

The Belgian failed to make the quarter finals in 11 of his first 13 tournaments across the hard and clay court seasons in 2019, but he has now made three successive quarter finals on grass, and is one win away from his first Grand Slam semi-final. Problem is: He’s got to beat the No. 1 player in the world to reach that career milestone.

“Novak is playing so well in Grand Slams. He is so tough to beat him in best of five and especially here on grass", Goffin said. "I think when he's playing his best tennis, is the World No. 1, is probably the best… But he's so consistent. This is what he's playing for now, win Grand Slams. It's tough. He's so solid... [The Big Three] are so tough to beat in Grand Slams. But they are humans, so I will try to do my best.”

Goffin actually defeated Djokovic in their most recent meeting in Monte Carlo in 2017, ending a run of five straight losses against the Serbian.

“Grass is quite suitable to his style of the game. He's one of the quickest players on the Tour. I think his footwork is probably his biggest asset. He manages to get himself in the right positions. He is balanced on some shots that most of the other guys aren't really balanced”, Djokovic opined.

Sounds like Djokovic just described himself there! 

Goffin has got all those qualities, but so has Djokovic, and the world No. 1 does everything that little bit better than the Belgian- which he why he starts as the firm favourite on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic vs David Goffin is live from Wimbledon on Wednesday, 10 July from 1:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST

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Djokovic vs Goffin Wimbledon QF Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Defending champion, Djokovic faces Goffin in Wimbledon quarter finals

Novak Djokovic continues his quest for a fifth Wimbledon title when he plays David Goffin in the quarter finals on Wednesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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