Wimbledon 2023: Djokovic, Alcaraz wins headline Day 5

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Novak Djokovic Wimbledon
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic serves to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in a men’s singles match on day five of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

It was an action-packed day at the All England Club with both the top seeds at Wimbledon, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek taking to the court as well as defending champion Novak Djokovic. With it came sweltering conditions as temperatures reached 84℉ in London where half a million fans will flood into courts over the next week. 

Novak Djokovic defeats Stan Wawrinka

Business as usual resumed on center court Friday as the undeniable Serb won in straight sets (6-3, 6-1, 7-5), sailing into the quarterfinals with 11 aces. 

The Joker’s clinic against the three-time Grand Slam champion in Wawrinka was a fitting end to Day 5 of the tournament. 

Djokovic will play Hubert Hurkacz (No. 17) in the round of 16 on Sunday.

“Coming into the court today we knew that it was going to be really tight to finish the match,” Djokovic said. “One of us had to win in straight sets. It looked very good for me in the first two sets. Then he raised his level, I dropped mine a bit. The crowd got involved and hopefully, you guys enjoyed it.” 

“While I’m in the tournament, numbers don’t really mean anything to be honest. I just need to focus all my attention, mental, physical, and emotional energy into the next match. Obviously, I’m trying to get the most out of the recovery day. There are certain things with my teams, I can always play better, I always have a couple of gears in me that I can go higher so hopefully as the tournament progresses, I’ll keep on playing better and better.” 


No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz takes down Alexandre Müller 

Earlier on Friday at center court, top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz beat Frenchman Alexandre Muller in three sets (6-4, 7-6, 6-3). 

The U.S. Open Champion never looked fazed as he sent center court into cheers with every fist pump and celebration. It was far from a perfect performance with 42 unforced errors, but the 20-year-old got the job done. The dominant display from the Spaniard propels him into the third round where he’ll face Jarry Nicolas on Saturday. 

“I’m really, really happy to play here again and this time with a win,” Alcaraz, who lost to Jannik Sinner on his center court debut at Wimbledon last year, said (h/t Wimbledon.com).  “It’s really, really important to start the tournament well, having great feelings. I’m playing really, really well on grass. I’m not an experienced guy as maybe other players but I’m enjoying playing on grass.”


Hometown favorite Andy Murray falls to Stefanos Tsitsipas 

Andy Murray
Britain’s Andy Murray leaves the court after losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in a men’s singles match on day five of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Great Britain’s own Andy Murray bowed out of Wimbledon after a second-round defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The match was resumed Friday after Thursday’s initial fixture was cut short due to the All England Club’s 11 p.m. curfew. Murray found form and was leading 2-sets-to-1 before the match was suspended. 

The Greek dug deep after play resumed, winning the fourth set A final ace was enough for Tsitsipas at the match point to move past Murray and into the quarterfinals on Monday. 

“You never know how many opportunities you’re going to get to play here so the defeats maybe feel a bit tougher,” Murray said after the match. “But every year that Wimbledon’s not gone how I’d like has been hard. There were some things I did very well, others things that I did poorly. I only lost once across five sets but my return game was not good enough.” 


American Chris Eubanks moves past Cameron Norrie 

Chris Eubanks
Christopher Eubanks of the US celebrates defeating Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the men’s singles match on day five of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

American Chris Eubanks defeated Britain’s Cam Norrie in four sets. The 6-foot-7 Atlanta native held his nerve in a tie-break to beat the 12th-seeded Brit.

Ranked outside the top 150 players just a year ago, Eubanks is now in the third round playing for a quarterfinal spot.  As he sent the ball over the net one last time to beat Norrie, he raised his arms up to the sky in relief. 

“By far, the biggest win of my career, by far. Not even a question.” Eubanks said. ”There are tons of really good tennis players who play professional tennis who never get the chance to play the number one Brit at Wimbledon, in an atmosphere like this.

“It didn’t matter how many people were for me or against me. This is something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.” 


Women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek breezes past Petra Martić  

Iga Swiatek
Poland’s Iga Swiatek reacts after beating Croatia’s Petra Martic in a women’s singles match on day five of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

The match point came when Petra Martic hit the net, sending the No.1 seeded Iga Swiatek into the final 16. This straight-set victory for the Pole was yet another dominant performance as she won in straight sets 6-2, 7-5. 

“For sure it wasn’t easy,” Swiatek said. “Petra was playing really well, so I had to stay focused from the beginning to the end. I’m pretty happy I got to lead in both sets and it gave me a lot of confidence that I could close it. I feel like I’m doing well on grass, that’s the most important thing for me.

“There is always something to improve. We have so many shots, you can’t play perfectly, but I’m still 22, my coach has some pretty good ideas and I still have a lot to learn. It gives me hope I can keep getting better and better every year.” 

PGA Tour Golfers, Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood were in attendance to watch the four-time Grand Slam champion today. Swiatek will face Belinda Bencic on Sunday for a place in the quarterfinals. 


Aryna Sabalenka defeats Varvara Gracheva 

Sabalenka redeemed herself after a poor opening set to win the match 2-1 on Court 1 today. The Belarusian struggled to contain her frustration in the early stages, she changed her strings and adjusted her game.

A display of control that was rewarded with a ticket to the quarterfinals, the second seed will face Anna Blinkova on Saturday. 

“I just kept trying to fight, kept trying to find my rhythm. Sabalenka said. “In the second set, I started feeling better, I felt like everything was under my control. Then in the third set, I was just going for my shots, I felt like I came back in the match.” 

Sabalenka didn’t compete at Wimbledon last year due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players. 

“I didn’t play last year here and I feel like the grass here is a little bit different. I was a little bit worried about how I was going to adjust my game to this grass,” she said. “And then we were banned last year and I didn’t know what to expect from people. Because for me it’s very important to feel the support in the match. After the first match, I felt amazing and I was really thankful for all the support. It was just amazing, an amazing atmosphere and an amazing feeling playing.” 

Wimbledon will resume on Saturday at 6 am ET.

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