In the midst of theories on the pitch and adaptations, of the covid and the positives of Cilic, Berrettini and Bautista, of the pools that are being made about who will be the champions on the 9th and 10th, a name has crept strongly into this edition of Wimbledon.
“Right now I’m surfing the wave. We’ll see where it ends…”
Until just a month ago, Tim van Rijthoven (Roosendaal, the Netherlands, 25 years old) had only registered one victory on the professional circuit (Rotterdam, February) and dragged another of those stories of difficulties that involve so many players who lose in the nebula of the circuit, those aspiring to gain a foothold on the professional stage. “It has been a long journey, with ups and downs. Injuries here and there. Mental fights. So I am very happy to be where I am and I hope to continue here for a couple of years or, in fact, a few more”, the Dutchman said this Friday after beating Nikoloz Basilashvili (6-4, 6-3 and 6-4 ) and continue like this riding on the green, witness of a blossoming that is causing people to talk.
Three years ago, when I was trying to get around the ditch of the challengers and tried to get his head into the elite, injuries stopped him dry. First, the doll; then an arterial operation; and finally, nine months in the infirmary due to “golfer’s elbow,” he details. That is, not a few adversities. However, just over two weeks ago his personal story took a radical turn. Everything changed. “Title [sobre la hierba de s-Hertogenbosch, en su país] It came out of nowhere, because I hadn’t even won any challenger. So it’s basically a lot of hard work and believing, going into training and games with positive vibes,” she reasons.
And in this way, working and believing relentlessly, he knocked down two top-10 (Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev) and lifted the title, also capturing the attention of Wimbledon. The major English granted him an invitation and he, now 104th in the world and with a cannon in the service –21 aces this Friday, 53 towards the round of 16–, is squeezing it as if it were the last. He has already claimed three victims (Delbonis, Opelka and Basilashvili) and now he is targeting Novak Djokovic himself.
“I play thinking that I am the best”
– Basically, before the tournament started it was a dream to play against him, and to play him on Center Court or Court 1 is something magical. If I can beat him? Yes I think so. For some time now, I have jumped onto the court thinking that I am better and that I can beat everyone. That is one of the keys that explain this situation.
This week, in one and another corner of the All England the warning arrives: “Be careful, Van Rijthoven is coming”. The Dutchman links eight consecutive wins and Nole, suitably distrustful, is no stranger to the incandescence of his rival in the round of 16. The Serb authoritatively reduced his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (6-0, 6-3 and 6-4) and maintained the firm pace of this first week, but he is suspicious of a player who will try to take advantage of the spectrum of uncertainty that surrounds the game on grass and that dynamic with which it arrives. There are already eight consecutive wins.
“I have followed him, it is quite impressive what he is doing. He has an ideal game for this surface ”, exposes the champion of 20 majors, defending the title and who has not had a single scratch so far. Without giving up a single partial, Djokovic continues capturing good sensations and showing that he has an idyll with green; in fact, he hasn’t lost on this surface since he fell to Cilic in the 2018 Queen’s final. He has string of 24 wins, equaling Australian Rod Laver’s personal record; only Roger Federer (65) and Björn Borg (41) surpass them.
No one has conquered the temple of London more times than the Swiss (8). Absent him, Djokovic points to his seventh scepter, with which he would reach Pete Sampras and William Renshaw in the second historic rung of the great English tournament.
Exclusive content for subscribers
read without limits
#Djokovic #alert #Van #Rijthoven #coming