Wimbledon: Van Rijthoven falls to Djokovic in Round of 16; Van de Zandschulp takes on Nadal
Tim van Rijthoven lost to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of Wimbledon. The number 104 in the world even took a set from the reigning champion but lost by clear numbers (6-2 4-6 6-1 6-1). Botic van de Zandschulp will take on Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon.
Van Rijthoven is satisfied with his duel against Djokovic. “I tried to make it more of a fight, but that wasn’t possible. In the third and fourth set, he did his ‘Novak thing,’ and he had an answer to everything. He doesn’t do anything crazy but is just very solid and has so many options with every ball. He also gives you nothing at all,” said Van Rijthoven (25).
“It’s a shame that he flew over me in the third and fourth set, but in the first two sets, I really showed my best tennis. I managed to pull out the second set on sheer willpower.”
Van Rijthoven resolved to enjoy this special moment in his career. “It was a big match for me. It was my first time on Center Court, against one of the best players of all time. That was already a big win for me,” said the wildcard player.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere the most. It was fantastic. I also had the idea that most of it were for me. To hear so many people shout ‘come on Tim’ was really cool and that on the most beautiful court in the world. When I got on the court, I had to orientate myself and take it all in. That caused a bit of nervousness in the beginning, but I grew better and better in the game.”
When Djokovic had his first match point, and Van Rijthoven congratulated him, the two exchanged some words. “I told him that he inspires me and that it was a great honor to be on the court with him. He then replied that I had a very bright future ahead of me. That’s nice to hear from him.”
Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp hopes to give Rafael Nadal his first defeat of the year at the grand slam level in the fourth round of Wimbledon. The 22-time grand slam champion was already the best this year at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, where he took the title for the fourteenth time.
The 36-year-old Nadal, the number 4 in the world, hopes to secure a “calendar grand slam” for the first time in his career. That means winning all four grand slam tournaments in the same year. After Wimbledon, he also needs to win the US Open in September.
The match between Van de Zandschulp and Nadal will be played on the Center Court. It is the third match after 2:30 p.m. Dutch time, after a men’s game and a match in the women’s tournament.
Van de Zandschulp and Nadal meet for the second time. Five weeks ago, the Spaniard was far too strong for the best men’s tennis player in the Netherlands. At Roland Garros, it was 6-3 6-2 6-4.
Reporting by ANP