Second seed Novak Djokovic kept his Wimbledon title bid on track at the grass-court major, where the seven-time titlist held firm for a fourth-round victory against Hubert Hurkacz.

The defending champion led against the Pole 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6) on Centre Court, when curfew ended Sunday play. The match resumed on Monday.

Novak dropped the third set before sealing a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4 triumph.

“Big credit to Hubert for playing an amazing match, tough luck for him today,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “But he put up a great performance. Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I felt this miserable in returning games to be honest, due to his incredibly accurate and powerful serve.”

Across two days of action at the All England Club, the 17th seed did not lose serve in the match until 3-3 in the fourth set. But Nole eventually broke his opponent’s serve to progress after three hours and six minutes.

“He’s got one of the best serves in the world and it’s so difficult to read it. Playing on the quickest surface in the sport, grass court, it really favours big servers. So it was not really an enjoyable match for me, I must say,” Novak added. “But I guess in the important moments, yesterday last night, I was fortunate really, to win that first set. I was 3/6 down in the tie-break. This match definitely could have gone a different way. But I guess I held my nerves when it mattered and I’m happy to win.”

Novak will next play seventh seed Andrey Rublev (RUS), who defeated Alexander Bublik in five sets on Sunday.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner leads the pair’s ATP H2H series 3-1.

Photo: Profimedia

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