Novak Djokovic opens up on Wimbledon crowd after Karen Khachanov win
NOVAK DJOKOVIC hailed a much-improved atmosphere on No 1 Court after he beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Djokovic did not get on court until 6.55pm after the conclusion of Kevin Anderson vs Gael Monfils but raced past the Russian in straight sets for the loss of just eight games.
The Serbian had hit out at the “unfair” Centre Court crowd on Saturday night after they had sided with home favourite Kyle Edmund and jeered him for getting a time violation.
But asked tonight if he felt No 1 Court was more favourable, he replied:“Absolutely. It was great. I enjoyed it.”
Djokovic had never played Khachanov, the big-serving Russian who is ranked No 40 in the world, and in extremely windy conditions, both players were broken in their opening service games.
Novak Djokovic needed just 106 minutes to see off Karen Khachanov
But the former world No 1 soon found his groove and finished after play had been suspended on some other courts, suggesting he was just minutes away from being forced to come back on Tuesday to finish off.
"It wasn’t the best start for me but I managed to re-break and get back into the set," Djokovic added.
“He’s got weapons, he’s got a big first serve, a big forehand but I managed to get a lot of first serves back in play.
"I served well when I needed to. It was really difficult conditions. Last couple of games, I couldn’t really see the ball, it was already very dark.”
His opponent meanwhile admitted that, irrespective of the conditions, Djokovic had started to hit top gear.
“Honestly, he was too good today. Too good,” Khachanov said.
“I mean, he had answer on everything what I did.
“Okay, of course I could maybe do some things better, like serve, for example, but I don't know. He was returning everything. I felt like the ball always coming back.
“So, I mean, maybe I should be more aggressive, but sometimes, you know, you need to find balance between being aggressive and to have unforced errors.
“So that's another thing against a guy like Novak.”