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Djokovic battles bad light and rain to defeat Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 8 July 2015, 20:14 IST

Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a scare against South Africa's Kevin Anderson in a tight five-setter to move into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Playing out of his skin, Djokovic had to come from two sets down to beat Anderson 6-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 and 7-5.

Djokovic had levelled the match at two sets a piece when bad light had interrupted the game on Monday. When the game resumed on Tuesday, Djokovic struggled to get his act going. Djokovic even had to contend with a delay because of the rain. The world number one eventually found his rhythm and broke Anderson in the eleventh game of the fifth set and then served out the match.

"Kevin served exceptionally well," Djokovic said after the match. "This was one of the most difficult matches I have played at Wimbledon in my career.

"I was two sets down and coming back to win gives me great satisfaction and confidence for my next challenge."

Djokovic will next play ninth seed Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic

Serbian Novak Djokovic, defending champion at Wimbledon, has a 43-3 record in 2015. He has won 5 titles and is currently the world number one player. He won the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open but ended up on the losing end in four-sets in the final of the French Open to Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic has won eight Grand Slams so far and has held the number one ranking for a total of 153 weeks. In 2011, Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slams on offer. He has won the year end ATP World Tour Finals tournament on four occasions, most recently in 2014.

Djokovic is the only player to have beaten Spaniard Rafael Nadal in all four Grand Slams. He is the first player in history to win the opening three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events of a season. He is also the only player to have beaten Roger Federer in all four majors however Federer has beaten Djokovic in all four Grand Slams.

Challenger Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson, at the age of 29, has never reached further than a Grand Slam fourth-round. He became the top-ranked South African player on 10 March, 2008 and has a career high ranking of 14 as of 22 June. Anderson holds the record of seven times reaching the round of 16 without reaching a quarter-final. The US Open is his last hope of reaching a quarter-final or go further than a Grand Slam in 2015. In 2011, Anderson defeated Indian Somdev Devvarman, in Johannesburg, to capture the South African Open to win his first-ATP-level title.

First published: 7 July 2015, 21:07 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.