NOVAK Djokovic’s left shoulder was in perfect working order on Monday as the top seed cranked up the power to blast past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-4 7-6(5) and reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the sixth year running.
Three days after falling heavily on his shoulder, the 2011 champion showed that there were no lingering effects from that painful tumble as he scorched Tsonga with a series of double-fisted backhands under the roof of a floodlit Centre Court.
His serving was also on fire as he chased an 11th successive win against the French 14th seed.
Djokovic dominated the opening two sets before Tsonga finally came alive in the third and threatened to take the upper hand in the set when he held two break points in the eighth game. The Serb snuffed out those chances with some powerful serving and a blazing crosscourt winner left him roaring in triumph a few minutes later.
The six-times grand slam champion will face Croatia’s Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, eleventh seed Grigor Dimitrov set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Wimbledon title holder Andy Murray after a 6-4 7-6(6) 6-2 victory against Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Nicknamed ‘Baby Fed’ for the similarity of his playing style to 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer, the Bulgarian extended his winning run on grass to nine matches with a plethora of eye-catching shots.
The 23-year-old, a former junior winner at Wimbledon, combined lightning-quick yet gracious movement with punishing ground strokes, taking the first set with a forehand winner.
He continued to wow the crowd in the second set with a sumptuous half-volley winner from between his legs before a Mayer double fault allowed Dimitrov to extend his set advantage after an evenly contested tiebreak.
Dimitrov eased through the final set, breaking Mayer twice, to continue to raise expectations that he could challenge the ‘big four’ of Murray, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.