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Wimbledon 2022 Day 7: Novak Djokovic advances as Carlos Alcaraz, Venus Williams lose

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Here we are on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon 2022, and unlike the past, there's play happening all day. Starting in 2022, the typical day of rest on middle Sunday is no more. On Day 7, the first day of Round 4 (also known as the Round of 16), we'll see Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, as well as Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, two of the four American men left in the tournament.

To find out what happened on Day 6 — a major gut punch of a day that featured the eliminations of Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Iga Swiatek, and Stefanos Tsitsipas — click here.

Check below to catch up with the biggest news from Day 7.

Djokovic tops van Rijthoven to reach quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic is one step closer to winning his first Grand Slam since last year's Wimbledon. He defeated 25-year-old Tim van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Initially, it looked like Djokovic would quickly breeze to a win, but van Rijthoven showed a lot of fire in the first set, especially with his huge serve, and that fire turned into a roaring blaze in the second set. He started to go bigger, keeping up with Djokovic in long rallies. With the score tied 3-3, van Rijthoven broke Djokovic's serve to get his first lead of the match, and widened it to 5-3 with another win. They battled in a very lengthy 10th game, but van Rijthoven finally nailed down the set.

Tied 1-1, Djokovic really turned it on in the third set. He won the first three games with little resistance from van Rijthoven, who just couldn't keep up the pace he set in the second set. He showed some fight in the fourth game, but Djokovic ended up rolling on through the rest of the way to take a 6-1 win.

While van Rijthoven kept things close for a second in the fourth set, Djokovic quickly closed things out to win 6-2 and make it into the quarterfinals, where he'll take on 10th seed Jannik Sinner.

Alcaraz loses to Sinner in battle of future stars

Carlos Alcaraz’s dream of winning his first Grand Slam won’t come true at Wimbledon. Jannik Sinner, seeded 10th, pretty much dismantled Alcaraz 6-1, 6-4, 6(7)-7, 6-3. It was clear almost immediately that Alcaraz, the No. 5 seed, was outmatched by Sinner. They spit the first two games, but then Sinner went on a tear, winning the next five games to close out the first set in just 31 minutes.

Sinner created distance between him and Alcaraz in the second set, going up 3-1, and would eventually win the set 6-4. The third set is where it got interesting. This time, Alcaraz was able to stay with Sinner, matching him game for game. He even got his first lead of the entire match, but Sinner came back and tied it twice. So it went to a tiebreak. Alcaraz briefly had a lead, but Sinner came storming back. Tied at 8-8 and facing elimination, Alcaraz was finally able to string two points together to win the set and keep the match going.

The only way Alcaraz could prevail was to win the next two sets, and he just wasn't up to the task. He made a valiant effort, fighting off several match points to force Sinner to serve for the match, but Alcaraz couldn't break him to keep it going. In fact, Alcaraz didn't break Sinner once during the entire match. With Alcaraz being only 19 and Sinner just 20, it was a battle between the future stars of the sport. Sinner came out on top — this time. Here's hoping we get to see them battle it out for years to come.

Jabeur moves to quarterfinals with win over Mertens

Ons Jabeur, who at No. 3 is the highest remaining seed in the women's draw, won a tough match over Elise Mertens on Sunday, 7-6(9), 6-4. Jabeur seemed as confident as ever, but Mertens, seeded 25th, was always hot on her heels. Down 4-2 in the first set, Mertens came back to win two straight games and tie it up. She took the lead at 5-4, but Jabeur is the WTA's No. 2 player for a reason. She tied it at 5-5, and then at 6-6. In the tiebreak, Jabeur quickly found herself down 6-3 and facing set point. But she climbed out of that hole to tie it, and she went on to win the set. Mertens didn't make it easy for Jabeur in the second set, but Jabeur finally took control after they tied at 4-4, winning the next two games to move onto her second Wimbledon quarterfinal

Williams, Murray lose mixed doubles heartbreaker

Venus Williams, back on Wimbledon grass for the first time since 2021, and Jamie Murray, the brother of two-time Wimbledon champ Andy Murray, lost their mixed doubles match on Sunday to Alicia Barnett and Jonny O'Mara. It was a true heartbreaker for Williams and Murray, who won the first set and dropped the second to force a tiebreak. And what a tiebreak it was. Each pair stayed with each other point-for-point, shot for shot. At 10-10, it was already a long tiebreak. At 16-16, it felt like it might go on forever. But then Barnett and O'Mara took a 17-16 lead, and sealed their win on the next point.

After Williams and Murray won their previous match, a BBC reporter asked them if they were in it to win it, or if they're just taking it one match at a time. Williams gave the best and only answer she possibly could: "What kind of question is that?"

That reporter might feel even more embarrassed now, since there was no question that Williams was in it to win it on Sunday. She was intense and emphatic, even challenging a point late in the match, something she rarely does. It was amazing seeing her so fired up after a year away from competition, and hopefully it won't be the last time fans get to watch her. If she plans to retire, she deserves a proper send-off.

Tiafoe eliminated after Goffin comeback

This looked like it could be the year for 24-year-old American Frances Tiafoe to make it to the later rounds, but he lost a heartbreaker of a match to Belgium's David Goffin, who made a comeback to win 7-6(3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in a battle that lasted four hours and 35 minutes.

The match was an entertaining and close battle, and it began with a first set tiebreak. Goffin emerged the winner, but Tiafoe then clawed his way to a 2-1 lead. After the third set, Tiafoe called the trainer out due to what the broadcast said were stomach problems, took a pill, and then proceeded to drop seven straight points. He went on to lose the fourth set, and after going down 2-1 in the fifth set, he broke a chair on the sideline with his racket. Tiafoe managed a comeback, tying the set at 5-5, but couldn't close, losing the final two games to end his run short of the quarterfinals.

US player Frances Tiafoe reacts as he plays against Belgium's David Goffin during their round of 16 men's singles tennis match on the seventh day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 3, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
At Wimbledon, American Frances Tiafoe lost an epic fourth round match to Belgium's David Goffin. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Norrie defeats Paul

The day started with two American men having a shot to make it to the quarterfinals, and it ended with both of them going home. Not only did Tiafoe go down to Goffin, but Tommy Paul fell to Cameron Norrie of the UK. Norrie, who is now the only UK player left in the men's and women's singles draws, won 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Paul had plenty of opportunities to turn the match around, pretty much in every single set. But he couldn't capitalize on any of them. Norrie is the UK's only hope for a home country singles winner, while the USA's hopes now rest on Taylor Fritz and Brandon Nakashima, who both play on Monday.

Ostapenko upset by Maria

Jelena Ostapenko, the No. 12 seed, was upset by the unseeded Tatjana Maria, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. As the score indicates, this was a very close match from beginning to end. At one point, Maria had to save two set points to keep the match going. Maria, who is from Germany, has taken two breaks from tennis to have children, and she returned from her second maternity leave less than a year ago. Now, at 34 years old, she's into her very first Grand Slam quarterfinal, and is now the oldest woman in the Open Era to make her Wimbledon quarterfinal debut. A tennis crowd loves an underdog, and Maria was energized by their support, thanking the spectators after the match for being there to cheer her on at every point. Ostapenko, who became frustrated with the lack of support from the spectators, didn't acknowledge the crowd as she left.

Roger Federer returns to Wimbledon for center court ceremony

It doesn't feel like Wimbledon without eight-time champion Roger Federer. And even though he's not competing this year due to a knee injury, he made a surprise appearance on Sunday, appearing on Wimbledon's biggest stage to celebrate 100 years of center court, the anniversary Wimbledon's move to Church Road.

Many Wimbledon champions were in attendance, including Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Billie Jean King. Many one-time winners were there as well, starting with 90-year-old Angela Mortimer, who won Wimbledon in 1961.

But the biggest moment came when Federer was introduced. The crowd went positively wild when his name was announced and he walked through the doors and onto center court.

Federer didn't quite announce his retirement, but he knows the end is near. He'll hold off at least one more year, telling the crowd that he'd like to play at Wimbledon again before he calls it a career.

"I hope I can come back one more time," Federer said. "I've missed it here."

Other notable results

  • Marie Bouzkova of Czechia continued her breakthrough run at Wimbledon, defeating France's Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2. Bouzkova lost one set to Danielle Collins in Round 1, and since then has won eight straight sets. When she plays on Tuesday, it'll be her first appearance at a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

  • Jule Niemeier also made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal on Sunday, defeating the Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4. Fans at Wimbledon have waited 77 years for a UK player to win the women's singles championship, and since Watson was the final UK player in the women's draw, they'll have to wait at least one more year.

This post will be updated throughout the day.