Wimbledon 2024 results: Novak Djokovic comes from behind to beat Alexei Popyrin

Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic came from a set down to book his place in the Wimbledon fourth round with victory over Australia’s Alexei Popyrin.

After a slow start on Centre Court, Djokovic, who has 24 Grand Slam titles, won 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

He will play Holger Rune next after the Danish 15th seed mounted a comeback of his own, prevailing over Frenchman Quentin Halys in five sets having trailed by two.

“A very challenging match, I think mentally as well, to hang in there,” said Djokovic.

“I was not allowed to have too big concentration lapses. I think I’ve done well in that regard. That was one of the best tie-breaks I’ve played this year, that’s for sure.”

Popyrin, who had never been beyond the second round in four previous visits to Wimbledon, came out with intent and took the first set with a break of serve in game seven.

But a lengthy break before the start of the second set as the roof was closed played into Djokovic’s hands, as the Serb started to find his rhythm.

The 37-year-old, still sporting a knee support on his right leg following surgery in June, broke Popyrin in the fourth game.

There was a brief interruption to play late in the set when fans on Centre Court burst into celebration as England beat Switzerland on penalties to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Fortunately, both players saw the funny side as Djokovic mimicked kicking a football and Popyrin raised his arms to imitate making a save.

Djokovic went on to wrap up the set with his 1,000th ace in the men’s singles at Wimbledon – just the sixth male player to achieve that feat.

Momentum remained with Djokovic in the third, breaking Popyrin in the first game, and he dropped just three points on serve before another ace sealed the set.

The fourth set proved a much tighter affair, with Djokovic missing three break points before a tie-break was required to settle the match.

“I didn’t expect anything less than what we experienced on the court today from Alexei,” Djokovic added.

“With that serve and powerful forehand, he’s dangerous on any surface.

“I knew he was in form and he was going to come out believing he can win. He was the better player in the first set. I think I played a good second and third and the fourth was anybody’s game.

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