2nd seed Novak Djokovic (SRB) got over an early lapse in concentration to beat Ernests Gulbis (LAT) in straight sets 6-4 6-1 7-6. At the beginning of the match Djokovic felt aggrieved after being denied a challenge by the chair, and the very next point he needed the challenge again, this time getting it, and it going his way. He remonstrated with the chair umpire about line calls and challenges, ironically telling the umpire to “focus” before losing all focus himself, dropping his serve immediately after. He regained his composure and took the first set 6-4. The following set wasn’t much of a contest as a rusty Gulbis was hampered by an injury. He called the trainer and was soon back on form, taking the third set to a tie break which Djokovic won with ease 7-2. The 2nd seed will play Adrian Mannarino (FRA) who emerged the victor in a tough 5 set match against fellow countryman and 15th seed Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-6 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-2.
Yet another retirement from the tournament, but perhaps a more understandable one, was Dudi Sela (ISR), whose body just did not recover from that punishing five set encounter with 23rd seed John Isner (USA). No one could accuse Sela of just turning up for the paycheck, as he battled for two sets against a full flowing 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov (BUL). Sela had the trainer on twice as the points wore on, Dimitrov only making two unforced errors in the first set, and tried to shorten the points by serving and volleying. Dimitrov grew wise to the serve and volley routine and played effortless tennis to win the second set. The Bulgarian was now leading 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour and it was at this point Sela wisely decided to call it a day. Dimitrov has had it relatively easy so far and has played some of the most beautiful tennis of the tournament. His next round will be a different league to his previous ones, facing his idol, seven time champion Roger Federer (SUI). Potential banana skin 27th seed Mischa Zverev (GER) is still yet to take a set from the 3rd seed losing 7-6 6-4 6-4.
6th seed Milos Raonic (CAN) progressed in straight sets 7-6 6-4 7-5 against 25th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) and will face Next Gen star Alexander Zverev (GER). The 10th seed saw off qualifier, and Jack Sock’s conqueror, Sebastian Ofner (AUT) in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2.
11th seed Tomas Berdych (CZE) made easy work of former quarter finalist David Ferrer (ESP) in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-3. His next opponent will be 8th seed Dominic Thiem (AUT) who ended the run of 20 year old Jared Donaldson (USA) in straight sets 7-5 6-4 6-2.
In the hangover match of yesterday 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) had to come out and serve to stay in the championship against 24th seed Sam Querrey (USA). He wasn’t able to hold and Querrey advances to play Kevin Anderson (RSA).