Novak Djokovic wants Centre Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday | Tennis | Sport

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Djokovic beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, rushing through the match after only getting onto court just before 7pm.

Last year, the Serbian’s match against Adrian Mannarino at the same stage was pushed back to Tuesday because of Rafael Nadal’s lengthy defeat to Gilles Muller.

Djokovic was on that occasion frustrated by the decision not to move his match to Centre Court under the lights, which would have preserved his rest day on Tuesday.

And while Wimbledon authorities enraged his fans by once again refusing to switch him to Centre when Kevin Anderson vs Gael Monfils ran long, the former world No 1 himself appeared relaxed about the situation.

“Seeing who was scheduled before me on the court, the matches, [Angelique] Kerber and [Belinda] Bencic, I think Anderson and Monfils, I expected a long day,” Djokovic said.

“But, again, why spend energy on something that you can’t change? I mean, it is what it is.”

By contrast, last year Djokovic complained that he was “kept for two and a half hours in the dark, in a way, without knowing what we are going to do so you were on your toes warming up, cooling down”.

But the 32-year-old, then carrying an injury that would put him out in the quarter-finals, now appears to have adopted a more philosophical attitude to such matters.

“I just accepted it,” Djokovic added.

“I went with the flow of my routines and everything that I have to do to get myself ready for the match, if I get to play today.

“I also knew that there is a big chance of us getting interrupted by darkness, continuing the next day, as it happened for me last year.

“Those are the kind of circumstances that you just have to accept.”

When asked if he expected to be on Centre Court for his quarter-final against Kei Nishikori he replied: “We’ll see. Hopefully.”

Djokovic has a very favourable record against the Japanese world No 28, who is also on the comeback trail from injury, having lost just twice in 15 meetings.

But he refused to underestimate the 29-year-old, who beat Ernests Gulbis in four sets to reach the last eight.

“I think it’s the first time for him in quarterfinals here in Wimbledon,” Djokovic said.

“I watched his match today with Gulbis. It was a pretty strange match, to be honest.

|But he showed mental toughness. That’s something that is very characteristic for him. He’s established, top player. Struggled with injuries a little bit. But whenever he’s fit, he can really beat anybody on any tournament. He has proven that in the past.

“He’s a big-match player. He doesn’t get affected too much by the big occasions. In contrary, he actually delivers his best. So that’s what I expect him to do. Hopefully we can have a good match.”



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