Wimbledon 2017: Djokovic and Federer reach the second week

The pair could meet each other in the semi-finals on Friday.

Wimbledon 2017: Djokovic and Federer reach the second week
(Photo via Getty Images/ Clive Brunskill)

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remained on a collision course to meet each other in Friday’s Wimbledon semi-final after the paie both reached the second week without dropping a set.

Djokovic, the second seed at this year’s Championships, overcame Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2) to set up a fourth-round clash with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

The Serb was followed onto Centre Court by 18-time grand slam champion Federer, who was too strong for the German serve-volleyer Mischa Zverev, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes.

Federer will now face 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who like the Swiss hasn’t dropped a set on his way to the last 16.

Djokovic finding form

When the draw was made just over a week ago, many fans would have anticipated a third-round contest between Djokovic and the popular Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

However, that matchup was dashed by Gulbis, the world number 589 who has slipped down the rankings due to a series of injuries.

The 28-year-old Latvian stunned Del Potro, the 29th seed, on Thursday with an array of big serves and heavy groundstrokes.

In the early exchanges, it looked like Gulbis could cause Djokovic some similar problems, breaking the Serb in the third game before establishing a 4-2 lead.

Yet, that was as good as it got for Gulbis, who lost the next 10 games to go down 6-4 5-0.

It was a ruthless display from Djokovic, who suffered a subdued quarter-final defeat to Dominic Thiem at the French Open last month.

The Serb appears invigorated, though, after hiring a new coaching team, which includes eight-time major winner Andre Agassi and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Mario Ančić.

Djokovic didn’t have it all his own way in a tighter third set, which Gulbis took to a tie break.

Even so, the second seed produced his best tennis when it mattered most, ominously wrapping up the match in two hours and 13 minutes.

Federer prevails after entertaining contest

Federer was equally impressive against Zverev, the world number 30, who stunned Andy Murray at the Australian Open earlier this year.

The pair engaged in some entertaining rallies throughout the contest, to the delight of the Centre Court crowd, who saw Zverev recover from 4-1 down in the opening set to force a tie break.

Federer remained unperturbed, as he continued to chip and block back Zverev’s serve, placing the ball in difficult positions for the net-rushing German.

After sealing the opener, Federer broke his opponent early in the second with a volley winner of his own.

A single break was enough for the Swiss to take sets two and three, as the bookies favourite sealed the match with an ace.

If he gets past Dimitrov on Monday, Federer will face either sixth seed Milos Raonic or German Alexander Zverev, Misha’s younger brother, in the quarter-finals, after both prevailed in straight sets.

In the women’s draw, world number one Angelique Kerber and fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki both came from a set down to defeat American Shelby Rogers and Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit respectively.

Tennis