Novak Djokovic is finally able to take to court on Tuesday as he faces Adrian Mannarino for a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
The Serbian and French pair were due to follow Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller on Court 1 on Manic Monday, but their five-set thriller ran four hours and 48 minutes long, with the no.16 triumphing 15-13 in the final set.
Djokovic and Mannarino have played each other once before, in the second round at last year’s Wimbledon where the current no.2 won in straight sets.
Mannarino benefitted from Felciano Lopez’s retirement in the first round of this year’s SW19 event, though was two games away from victory, before wins over Yuichi Sugita and Gael Monfils.
Djokovic’s first-round opponent also retired — Martin Klizan — before routine victories over Adam Pavlasek and Ernests Gulbis.
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TFW YOU REACH THE SEMI-FINALS…
Up next for Johanna Konta: Venus Williams
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 11, 2017
HISTORY Johanna Konta is the first British woman in a Wimbledon semi-final for 39 years, when Virginia Wade made the last four in 1979.
GAME, SET, MATCH
KONTA WINS, SHE’S THROUGH TO THE SEMIS Halep takes the first point as Konta hits a forehand way too long. Centre Court is cheering Konta and the second is good, too good for Halep who misjudges a return. It’s back and forth, back and forth in the third point with both producing fizzing cross-court forehands but Konta has the better and the no.2 seed is left grasping air. It’s the same for the second, Halep turning away helplessly, and people are on their feet as match point approaches. Her first serve is long but her second is good, Halep returns, Konta follows, a scream from the crowd goes up and Halep sends the ball into the net.
KONTA 6-7 7-6 5-4 HALEP* We have our third service game without reply and you feel Konta saw that out to get back on serve. Hold and she’s in the semi-finals. Hold and she matches a 39-year record. Hold and Centre Court, roof and all, goes off. Virginia Wade is watching.
KONTA* 6-7 7-6 5-3 HALEP Neither is Konta. She holds to love and she is one game away from the semi-finals.
‘CAN KONTA MAKE HISTORY?’ Here is Dan Kilpatrick: «What an effort this is from Johanna Konta. She has broken first in the third set and consolidated with yet another dogged hold to take a 4-3 lead in the decider. «Both women played yesterday, of course, and this has been a grueling, physical battle but it is Konta, spurred on by the Centre Court crowd, who has an advantage. «She has been remarkable on serve so far, dropping just one game, and two more holds will see her make British history.»
KONTA 6-7 7-6 4-3 HALEP* Well, Halep isn’t messing around. She holds.
KONTA* 6-7 7-6 4-2 HALEP
And hold she does. As it becoming custom, Konta races into a 40-love lead but cannot secure the final point and the first or second time of asking. Halep pulls back as the crowd urge the Brit on and a long backhand from the no.2 seed consolidates Konta’s break.
KONTA 6-7 7-6 3-2 HALEP* Huge. Konta breaks and the roof is nearly taken off. It’s a superb defence from Konta who stays deep, sending Halep from left to right and forces the no.2 seed into three long returns. Now, let’s hold onto your own serve Jo.
KONTA* 6-7 7-6 2-2 HALEP You tension inside Centre Court, wow. Huge roars as Konta goes 30-love up and Halep raises her aims in desperation. A return into the net and it’s deadly quiet, two long Halep forehands and it’s the game.
KONTA 6-7 7-6 1-2 HALEP A routine hold of serve.
KONTA* 6-7 7-6 1-1 HALEP Halep is annoyed and wants her revenge for losing the second set, while Konta again fails to put away a net approach to gift the Romanian a point. Konta’s first service game of the third has Halep passing up a break point before a 20-plus stroke rally ends with Konta finding the corner and, believe it or not, stepping forward twice to convert a volley THREE times.
KONTA 6-7 7-6 0-1 HALEP* A hold of serve from Halep to start the third yet.
KONTA WINS THE SECOND SET Konta win the second set tie-break with her first set point, putting away the most crucial of points when it mattered. Something finally did give, and it was in favour of Konta.
KONTA 6-7 6-6 HALEP* Of course, she does. To love. A tie-break beckons.
KONTA* 6-7 6-5 HALEP Another routine hold of serve for Konta. The British no.1 has made 30 unforced errors to Halep’s six. That goes some way of telling you the strengths of the Romanian. She must now hold serve to force a tie-break.
KONTA 6-7 5-5 HALEP* Konta pulls a Halep and fights back from 40-love down to force Deuce and Centre Court has never been louder today. But Konta can again have only herself to blame as she, not for the first time, hits wide with the whole court gaping when at the net. We are all level.
‘TENNIS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY’ Here is Dan Kilpatrick from a tense Centre Court: «Tennis of the highest quality on Centre Court, where unstoppable force Johanna Konta has met immovable object Simona Halep. «Konta’s ferocious groundstrokes are often too much for Halep but the Romanian’s remarkable defence and refusal to give away any points cheaply (she has conceded just five unforced error in the match, according to Wimbledon statistics) mean this second set looks destined to go to the wire. It’s 5-4 to Konta and on serve. «Something has to give.» He even stole my line.
KONTA* 6-7 5-4 HALEP We look to be heading for a tie-break here and, my word, it’s the only fair way to separate these two. Konta battles from a point down to hold her serve yet again with a brilliant down-the-line backhand. Cue fist pump and roar in celebration. Over to you, Simona.