Wimbledon Men’s Day 5: Djokovic, Raonic, Goffin through

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon
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Day five at Wimbledon saw the top half of the draw compete in third-round action, with Novak Djokovic the only top ten player left standing at the close of play. Last year’s finalist Kevin Anderson was surprisingly defeated by Guido Pella, while the likes of Tsitsipas and Zverev had already exited the tournament in the first round.

Wimbledon Day Five Recap

Who looked good:

Milos Raonic is looking likely to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for a third time in his career, with only the likes of Pella and Benoit Paire or Roberto Bautista Agut on his path. His form certainly looks strong as demonstrated by the light work he made of a potentially troublesome match against Opelka. That said, the American seemed to be struggling physically after his marathon encounter with Stan Wawrinka in the previous round.

Benoit Paire is having a career year, winning two titles already and now making back to back the fourth round at consecutive Grand Slams for the first time in his career. His match with Vesely was as tight, but Paire was simply better in the tiebreaks and deserved his victory. He served for a first Major quarterfinal against Kei Nishikori at the French Open only to fall just short, but will have another good opportunity to reach the last four against Bautista Agut on Monday. The head to head is 8-0 in favor of the Spaniard, but Paire is playing fine tennis and has the talent to win that match if he’s playing well.

Fernando Verdasco is through to the second week of Wimbledon for the first time since 2013 (when he lost from two sets to the good against Murray in the quarterfinals) and he’ll surely like his chances of advancing against Belgium’s David Goffin in the next round.

Hubert Hurkacz may have lost his match with defending champion Djokovic in four sets, but he played some fine tennis in doing so. Indeed, he offered the Serbian his first real test of the tournament, delivering some powerful strokes to keep the world’s best on the back foot at times. Ultimately, Hurkacz proved unable to maintain the level required to go toe-to-toe with Djokovic. But it has been a good tournament for the young Pole nonetheless and the future certainly looks bright for the 22-year-old.

Who looked bad:

Kevin Anderson was eliminated in straight sets by Pella in one of the biggest shocks of the tournament so far. The South African, who has seen his year badly disrupted by an elbow injury, looked completely out of sorts and was thoroughly outplayed from the baseline, only keeping it relatively close thanks to dominant first serves. Anderson will leave the top 10 of the world rankings following his early demise.

Karen Khachanov continues to endure an indifferent season following his Bercy title late last year and lost against Bautista Agut in straight sets for the second time this year, after meeting the same fate (in the same round too) at the Australian Open back in January. What’s more, he didn’t even create a single break point the entire match against a player who’s not exactly renowned for his big serve.

Felix Auger-Aliassime was expected to book a tasty Manic Monday encounter with Djokovic but he was completely outplayed by Ugo Humbert. As much credit as the young Frenchman deserves, there’s no doubt that Aliassime wasn’t able to translate the level he’s been showing in tour events to Grand Slam level on this occasion. A frustrating defeat for the young Canadian to be sure.

Match of the day:

David Goffin vs Daniil Medvedev wasn’t just the match of the day, it was the match of the tournament so far and arguably one of the matches of the year. It was three and a half hours of intense baseline exchanges, with several changes in momentum and memorable points. In the fifth set it looked like Medvedev had the match in his grasp after breaking early, but Goffin played some superb ball to turn the match around and win, granted with some help from dubious umpiring.

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