By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Novak Djokovic  def. Kyle Edmund  4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4
WIMBLEDON, UK – Novak Djokovic continues to look like a strong contender as he beats British No. 1 Kyle Edmund to reach the second week.
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Novak Djokovic  def. Kyle Edmund  4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4
The start of the match, straight after England’s World Cup triumph to reach the semi-finals, saw a buoyed-up Edmund impress the crowd with improved movement and a stronger backhand this season, first fending off break points and then finally converting on a fourth chance of his own to take a 4-3 lead, hanging on to that advantage to the end of the set.
Edmund stayed firm against Djokovic’s early attempts to break him but could not quite hold on as the Serbian broke towards the end of the set, serving out to level the match.
The Brit was broken early at the start of the third set, as the crowd started to get to Djokovic, laughing at faults, booing him as he started his ball-bouncing pre-serve routine, which served to fire him up all the more, indicating to the crowd that he couldn’t hear them, after he broke Edmund once more and served to love for a 2-1 lead.
There was more drama to come as Edmund fended off break point chances including a controversial call where a double-bounce which eventually was actually out, but the point was awarded to Edmund, much to Djokovic’s frustration.
In fact if anything, fans on twitter were more annoyed with Edmund for not owning up to the double-bounce. In the end though, Djokovic was rewarded with the break before serving out to love to book his place in the Round of 16.
From Djokovic’s perspective, he likened it to a Davis Cup envionrment but did point out that certain members of the crowd were deliberately trying to goad him.
He said: “I played Andy couple times. I played him Olympic Games. I played him Wimbledon. It was not like this, definitely. The crowd was very fair when I played against Andy. Obviously they support their player. There’s nothing you can say about that. Of course, I mean, it’s expected.
“But today there was just some people, especially behind that end where I got the time violation, they kept on going, they kept on going, provoking. That’s something that I can tolerate for a little bit, but I’m going to show that I’m present, as well, that they can’t do whatever they feel like doing.
“I didn’t deserve to be treated as I was treated by certain individuals. That’s one thing I didn’t like.”
As if that had not been bad enough, his frustration had grown with the situation surrounding the double-bounce.
He explained: “It was quite a strange situation. First of all, I mean, the only thing I wanted to know from him is, how does he think it’s possible that Kyle hits the shot that he hit so clean and so flat and fast if he hit it with the frame. If you hit it with the frame, it’s supposed to kind of slow down the trajectory of the ball. I was 100% convinced it was twice. I heard from people that it was.
“Anybody can make a mistake. That’s okay. But I don’t understand why he didn’t allow me to challenge the ball. I asked him.
“At first, obviously I didn’t like his call. I had a conversation with him. I understand it took some time. But I wanted to challenge the call. If I couldn’t change the decision, I just wanted an explanation. Then I said, Okay, can I challenge the call? He said, It’s too late. So yes, it was quite a strange decision from chair umpire, but it happens.”
Edmund came in for quite a lot of criticism on Twitter during the match after that incident, but in the heat of the moment, Djokovic believed that he had not known about the ball hitting the ground twice.
“I don’t think he deserves that. Kyle is a very nice guy. I know him and have tons of respect for him, his team. We get along very well. Nothing against Kyle there. You couldn’t know. I mean, he was running towards the ball and he just hit it and he dropped his racquet. He couldn’t know. Doesn’t deserve that.”
Edmund admitted he had been scrambling for the ball at the time so asserted that it was hard to say if it had double-bounced or not, despite it having been proved so via a television replay.
Edmund said: “I was scrambling. I mean, it sounds like you’re still unsure if it bounced twice.It’s hard to say, isn’t it? That’s the thing. You need television to see it. If in real life it’s hard to tell, then it’s hard to tell for me when I’m scrambling.
“Generally, if you need television to look at stuff, when you’re in the moment trying to make that split decision… I don’t really know what to say. I try my best to get there. We need the umpire to get off his chair and go to the TV monitor on the side.”
Wimbledon continued with all the fourth round matches scheduled on Monday.
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