Novak Djokovic admits he may not play again until the Olympics after having his grand slam hopes sensationally scuppered with a shock third-round exit from Wimbledon.
Big-serving American Sam Querrey
sent the all-conquering world No.1 crashing out of the championships
with a stunning 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) victory that blew the men's
draw wide open.
Already the first man to hold all four major
trophies, Djokovic had been bidding to become the first since Rod Laver
in 1969 to complete a calendar-year grand slam sweep.
29-year-old was unable to claw back the two-set deficit he slept on
after rain forced the suspension of play on Friday with Djokovic's title
defence on tenterhooks.
Querrey's earth-moving triumph ended
Djokovic's open-era record 30-match winning streak at the slams and
consigned the Serb to his earliest departure from a major since the 2009
"It's disappointing, of course, losing at a grand
slam hurts more than any other tournament. There is no doubt about
that," Djokovic said.
"Congratulation to Sam. He played a terrific match.
serves very well, as he usually does. That part of his game was brutal
today. He just overpowered me. He was aggressive and it paid off."
top-seeded three-time champion had also been striving to become the
first player since American Don Budge in 1938 to win five consecutive
grand slam titles.
But after quickly taking the third set upon the
resumption of play on Saturday, Djokovic was unable to force a decider
despite serving for the fourth set at 5-4.
He put a forehand volley into the net to allow Querrey to break back before the 28th seed safely held serve for 6-5.
game away from victory, Querrey had to endure another nerve-wracking
hour-long rain delay before taking the tiebreaker to secure a famous
victory after two hours and 58 minutes.
"Incredible," said Querrey as he basked in the glory of the biggest win of his career.
"Especially to do it here at Wimbledon, the biggest tournament in the world. I'm so ecstatic."
stunning result presents a huge opportunity for seven-times champion
Roger Federer and other leading seeds Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Marin
Cilic, David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to make the final.
Querrey, a former Queen's Club champion on London grass, can look
forward to a Monday meeting with unseeded Frenchman Nicolas Mahut for a
place in the quarter-finals, Djokovic said he may not return to the
court until next month's Rio Games.
"It's been a very successful
year so far, but very long one, exhausting one, in every sense of that
word. I just need some rest," he said, adding he wasn't 100 per cent
healthy against Querrey.
"But it's not the place and time to talk about it.
"I believe in positive things in life. I managed to win four grand slams in a row - two different seasons, though.
"I want to try to focus on that rather than on failure."
dispatched Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5 6-3 7-5 to set up a 2014 US Open final
rematch with Cilic, who also progressed in straight sets, 6-3 6-3 6-4,
over Lukas Lacko.
On the other side of the draw, second-seeded
local hope Andy Murray assumed title favouritism with a 6-3 7-5 6-2
victory over Australian John Millman.
Nick Kyrgios will play Spanish No.22 seed Feliciano Lopez later on Saturday for a last-16 crack at Murray on Monday.