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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Party time for in-form Djokovic

Photo Titled Dudi Sela
Israeli Dudi Sela in action during his straight sets defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Fourth seed Novak Djokovic moved comfortably into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win over unseeded Israeli Dudi Sela in a match played in a carnival atmosphere.

The 2007 semi-finalist, who has been creeping through the draw without fanfare, produced a solid display, firing off 11 aces and 30 winners.

It was perhaps no surprise. After all "Djoker", fourth in the world, is ranked 42 places above Sela and beat the 24-year-old on their only other previous meeting. Sure enough it took just five games for the Serb to secure an early break and he raced off with the first set in 28 minutes.

The fans were clearly delighted with the Court 3 scheduling, with chants of "Dudi, Dudi, Dudi" and "Nole, Nole, Nole", echoing around the stand, and the party-feel even prompted a smile from Sela.

It was a fitting atmosphere to mark a special day for the court, which was staging major singles matches for the last time before it is rebuilt after this year's Championships.

And the Israeli was clearly enjoying the moment in what has been the best year of his career. He also reached the third round, as a qualifier, at this year’s Australian Open.

Sela displayed more fight in the second set, perhaps buoyed by the crowd, and managed to break Djokovic as the Serb served for the set at 5-3. But Djokovic wasn’t having any of it and he broke back immediatley to claim the second set.

Come the third set, the fourth seed was on fire. Sliding into points in his trademark manner, he took just 19 minutes to polish off the set and book his place in the quarter-finals.

He will face Germany’s Tommy Haas who had a convincing straight sets victory over Igor Andreev.

Speaking about Haas, to whom he lost in Halle earlier this month, Djokovic said: “He’s certainly a great player, and he’s playing really well lately, taking Roger to five sets in French Open, winning Halle, and here some marathon matches. He’s very aggressive. He plays serve and volley. He goes for both serves. He’s gonna put a lot of pressure on me, so I just have to be patient and wait for the chances.”

However, Djokovic added he felt his form was coming good at the right time for Wimbledon. “In case I win that match, I got Federer. So it’s not going to be easy certainly. But I think right now physically and mentally I’m in the right direction.”

Court 3 - Gentlemen's Singles - 4th Round
Dudi Sela ISR 241
Novak Djokovic SRB (4)Winner666

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