British No 1 Kyle Edmund was unable to make it an English sporting double on Saturday after being dumped out of Wimbledon by three-time former champion Novak Djokovic.
Although Edmund started well, it was Djokovic who showed too much quality in the end to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 44th time, which moves him ahead of Jimmy Connors on the all-time list in the Open Era.
Edmund came out to a buzzing Centre Court with spectators still on a high after the England’s earlier success against Sweden at the World Cup to seal their place in the semi-finals.
The 21st seed bludgeoned the former world No 1 with his powerful forehand to take the opening set 6-4 as temperatures soared above 30 degrees in the heat of battle.
After saving two break points in his first service game, Edmund dialled up the power and broke at the fourth time of asking to lead 4-3.
He found himself down 0-30 serving for the set but recovered impressively, clinching it with a 131mph service winner.
Edmund was forced into a few early battles on his serve in the second set and the breakthrough seemed almost inevitable. It eventually arrived after the Brit double-faulted in the eighth game.
Djokovic, who was beginning to look a lot more comfortable off the ground, served it out 6-3.
There were too many errors coming from Edmund’s forehand side by now and the Serb broke out into an almighty roar after taking control at the start of the third. He then secured a double-break to move 5-2 up before serving it out against a weary-looking Edmund to move one set away from victory.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion tightened the screw at the business end of the fourth set and after Edmund framed the ball high, wide and handsome in the ninth game, Djokovic made his opponent pay with a break and served out the match to reach the second week looking in dangerous form.
Djokovic will take on Karen Khachanov in the last 16 on Monday after the Russian came from two sets down to defeat American youngster Frances Tiafoe 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 6-1.
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