WIMBLEDON // So unheralded has Novak Djokovic's progress been at Wimbledon this past week, he may as well have been playing in the middle of the night in another city, rather than in the sunshine on the world's most famous tennis court. All the talk at Wimbledon has understandably been about the top-seeded Roger Federer and British hope Andy Murray. Djokovic, seeded No 4, has advanced to the tournament's second week without fanfare and he is does not mind that at all.
"I realise the situation that I am in right now," Djokovic said. "Andy Murray and Roger Federer are in the spotlight, and they deserve to be in that situation, because they have been playing great tennis the last six, seven months. "But you have to look from the brighter side. It's good. It kind of releases the pressure for me." Djokovic said he played his best match of the week, when he beat the American Mardy Fish 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Wimbledon's centre court.
In the last 16 on Monday, Djokovic will face the unseeded Dudi Sela of Israel, who beat No 15 seed Tommy Robredo 7-6 (8), 7-5, 2-6, 7-5. As the first half of the fortnight winds down, most of the attention remains on Murray, seeking to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936, and the five-time champion Federer. They're on course to meet in the final, with the big-serving American Andy Roddick considered the next-strongest title contender.
Federer advanced by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber in four sets. Murray and Roddick had third-round matches scheduled today. As for Djokovic: Fish said the Serb is capable of a run at the championship. "He seems to be kind of going along quietly. He's not making too much noise out there - kind of letting everyone talk about Roger and Andy, and the other Andy, kind of going about his business." Djokovic was a Wimbledon semi-finalist at age 20 in 2007, then won the Australian Open the following year. He has 13 career titles, two this year, and while he has never won a grass-court tournament, he was the runner-up at a Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Germany two weeks ago.