It’s day 9 of Wimbledon 2022, the first day of the quarterfinals. And there are a lot of newcomers. Of the eight players who took the court on Tuesday, four of them had never reached a Grand Slam quarter-final before and one had never reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
It is very likely that we will have our first winner at Wimbledon this year, but there are still a few more matches to be played before we know. If the tennis we’ve seen in the first eight days is any indication, it’s going to be a thrilling ride until the end.
Match results from Day 9 can be found below.
Novak Djokovic achieved a comeback victory over Jannik Sinner
Novak Djokovic has won his last 36 matches on Wimbledon’s Center Court, but that streak came perilously close to an end on Tuesday when Djokovic faced young, talented Italian Jannik Sinner. Sinner, who is only 20 and is the No. 10 seed, was cornered by Djokovic several times and even jumped out to a two-set lead. Against Djokovic, seeded number one and world number three, he couldn’t keep up the pace in the end. Djokovic won 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in a thrilling five-set set that lasted three hours and 35 minutes.
For Djokovic, it was pretty much the same story we’ve seen from him at Grand Slams this year and in the past. At some point during a match, usually after he loses a set (or two in this case), he concentrates, turns on the killer tennis robot that lives in his brain, and goes to work. You could almost see the red lasers in his eyes as he pounced on Sinner in the third set and played the ferocious tennis he is known for. It is possible that the first sets were a miscalculation by Djokovic, or perhaps a dangerous rope and drug style. Either way, once it’s on, it’s on on.
It was a much different story in the first two sets. Djokovic led 4-1 early in the match, but then Sinner started to crawl back. Sinner is long-legged and agile, and his serve was difficult for Djokovic to handle. After shaking off the initial stranglehold, Sinner began attacking and coming back with authority. He came back from a three-game deficit to tie the set at 5-5 and then won the set with victories in the last two games. In the second set, he outplayed Djokovic, who barely won a point in the first three games and lost the last few close ones.
In the third set, Djokovic came back and Sinner couldn’t keep up. The years of experience that Djokovic has as a 35-year-old are difficult for a young player to overcome, and Sinner began to noticeably lose steam in the fourth set. Djokovic barely gave Sinner a breather and jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Sinner won his first match. He forced a fifth set, which came to an early halt when Sinner made a dangerous breakaway. Sinner was fine, but at that point the match was over. Djokovic has made it through the finals and will be making his 11th trip to the Wimbledon semifinals.
Jabeurová played her first Grand Slam semifinal with a historic win over Bouzková
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the highest seeded woman in the tournament at No. 3, punched her ticket to her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over unseeded Maria Bouzkova. It is a historic win for Jabeur and all of tennis as she is now the first Arab or North African woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam singles.
When the match started, Jabeur didn’t look like herself. She was slow and hesitant and let the kit escape quickly. But then Jabeur pulled herself together, remembered that she was the world No. 2, and went on to play two sets of dominating tennis. At Bouzková, she sent a flurry of shots to all parts of the court and her defense was on point. Bouzková managed to win only one win in the last two sets, Jabeurová broke serve six times.
Jabeur’s historic victory made her the first Arab or North African woman to reach a Grand Slam final for one match. On Thursday, she will face Tatjana Maria.
Tatjana Maria defeats Jule Niemeier in the battle of the German women
German women’s tennis was on full display on Tuesday, with Tatjana Maria defeating compatriot Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals. For Maria (34) and Niemeier (22), it was the first trip to the Grand Slam quarterfinals. Each took a set to force a deciding third set, which Maria won in a whistle.
This is Maria’s first Grand Slam semi-final, and at the age of 34, it’s been a long journey. She turned pro in 2005 and until Tuesday, her best finish at any major was a third-round finish at Wimbledon in 2015. At Wimbledon 2022, her 10th appearance at the All England Club, she had to beat three seeds (No. 26 Sorana Cirstea in the 2nd round, No. 5 Maria Sakkari in the 3rd round and No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko in the 4th round) to advance to the quarterfinals. With her win over Niemeier, Maria became only the sixth woman to make her Wimbledon debut aged 34 or later.
A trip to the semifinals of a Grand Slam would be exciting for most players, but it means a lot more to Maria. She is the mother of two daughters, 8 and 1, and this time last year Maria had just given birth. She took maternity leave (as she did after the arrival of her older daughter) and returned to competition in late summer 2021. However, she struggled and did not make it past the first round at the US Open, Australian Open. or the French Open. But she thrived on grass at Wimbledon and achieved the breakthrough she had been fighting for her whole career.
Maria will face Ons Jabeur on Thursday.
Norrie beats Goffin to keep Britain’s hopes alive
Great Britain’s hopes of a home country champion are still alive thanks to Cameron Norrie’s 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over David Goffin. It was a gritty five-set set, with dynamics changing within sets and even individual games. Goffin, 31, was in control from the start, winning the first set with little effort as Norrie, 26, and in his first Grand Slam quarter-final, appeared to be struggling with nerves. He improved in the second set, recovering and fighting for every point to level the score at 1-1.
Norrie stumbled again in the third set, but faced a 2-1 deficit and came alive in the final two sets. With the British crowd roaring behind him, he pounced on what is arguably the biggest win of his career to date.
This is Norrie’s first trip to a Grand Slam semifinal. His best finish at any major prior to Wimbledon 2022 was the third round, which he has achieved at every Slam in the last few years. He is now the fourth other Briton to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals, to Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor.
Norrie will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Thursday.