Novak Djokovic revealed "a little pep talk in the mirror" gave him the motivation to rescue his Wimbledon mission after Jannik Sinner threatened a monumental Centre Court upset.

Seeking a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title, and seventh in all, Djokovic fell two sets behind against 20-year-old Italian Sinner and left the court for a toilet break at the height of his crisis.

Djokovic returned recharged to win 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 for a 26th consecutive Wimbledon match win, reaching the semi-finals for an 11th time and later revealing what had occurred away from the public glare.

"I went out and had a little bit of refreshment, toilet break and a little pep talk in the mirror," said Djokovic.

That sparked laughter from the crowd, but Djokovic said: "It's actually true. Sometimes in these sort of circumstances where nothing is happening positively for you on court, and the other guy is dominating the play, sometimes these things are necessary: a little break and a little pep talk and try to recuperate and regather the thoughts, and reassemble everything that you have, and come at your opponent with the best possible game.

"I was fortunate to start the third set very well. I broke his serve early in the set and I think that has given me a confidence boost, and I saw a little bit of doubt in his game, in his movement, and I guess the experience of playing on this stage for many matches helped me a little bit to deal and cope with the pressure."

It was a third victory from two sets in arrears for Djokovic at Wimbledon, and a seventh overall in his grand slam career.

Djokovic described Sinner as "so mature for his age", adding: "He's got plenty of time, and it was unfortunate for him today, but he's had a very good tournament."

The defending champion said the first two sets and the final three felt like "two different matches", the change having been striking once Djokovic emerged from his talking-to in the mirror.

"I go through the same kind of doubtful moments as anybody else," said 35-year-old Djokovic, who is chasing a 21st grand slam title this fortnight.

"The inner fight is always the biggest fight you have to fight on the court, and so trying to win that internal fight is a big challenge.

"Once you do that, the external circumstances are more likely to go in your favour. I always believed I could turn the match around. I've done that quite a few times in grand slams, from being two sets to love down. Maybe it's the experience, maybe it's the toilet break, maybe it's everything combined, but I'm just glad I'm through.

"Every single time I step on this court the love affair keeps going and keeps growing, so hopefully I can maintain that run."

Novak Djokovic pulled off a great escape on Centre Court to deny Jannik Sinner in five sets and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for an 11th time.

Djokovic won 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in three hours and 35 minutes for his 26th consecutive Wimbledon match win, moving two steps away from a fourth successive title at the All England Club.

It gave him a 10th victory in the 11 five-set matches he has contested at Wimbledon, a fourth-round loss to Mario Ancic in 2006 the exception.

From 4-1 ahead in the second set, Djokovic's game went into sleep mode for an hour as his inspired Italian opponent stole a march, Sinner threatening to pull off a shock to follow up his outstanding fourth-round win over Carlos Alcaraz.

Sinner was profiting from Djokovic's lethargic and erratic display, the crowd lending him their full support, which was no doubt jarring for Djokovic given his status as one of the tournament's greatest champions.

Djokovic gained a foothold in the contest by breaking to love to lead 3-1 in the third set, beckoning to the crowd to show him a little love in the next game.

From that point he never looked back. The tide was not so much turning but lapping urgently at the Sinner shoreline, threatening to wash away his challenge, and when he conceded a break in the third game of the deciding set the script was almost complete.

Sinner had rolled an ankle at the end of the fourth set but was quickly back to his feet, only to be mowed down by the relentless Serbian juggernaut on the other side of the net, a highlights-reel crosscourt backhand winner from Djokovic crowning the comeback as the winning line approached.

Data slam: Joining Jimmy as Djokovic survives

Djokovic has still not lost at Wimbledon since having to retire from a quarter-final against Tomas Berdych in 2017 due to an elbow injury. He has now matched Jimmy Connors' total of 84 match wins at Wimbledon, a total only beaten in men's singles by the 105 achieved by Roger Federer. The 11 Wimbledon semi-finals also put him level with Connors, with Federer's 13 the total to beat.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 41/33
Sinner– 43/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 8/5
Sinner– 8/7

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/15
Sinner - 4/9

Wimbledon surprise package Tatjana Maria said she was living out a dream after reaching her maiden grand slam semi-final.

Maria also matched a feat achieved by Serena Williams and only two other players since 1984 – Mirjana Lucic (1999) and Zheng Jie (2008) – in reaching the last four at Wimbledon as a player ranked outside the top 100 on the WTA list.

The 34-year-old German, who beat compatriot Jule Niemeier 4-6 6-2 7-5 on Tuesday, is ranked 103rd, and despite her efforts at Wimbledon she will not soar in the standings after the WTA's decision to strip the grand slam of ranking points.

Yet that will matter little for the mother of two, who knew she would face either Marie Bouzkova or Ons Jabeur in her first slam semi-final.

"I have goosebumps everywhere. It was such a tough match against Jule. I think today we made Germany really proud after our match," said Maria in her on-court interview.

"My two little girls, it's a dream to live this with my family, to live this with my two girls. Almost one year ago I gave birth, it's crazy.

"Ons [Jabeur], I mean it would be really nice to play her [in the semi-final]. She is part of my family, she loves my kids, she is playing with them every day.

"It would be great to play her, we never know. But I am only happy that I am in a semi-final now."

Tatjana Maria's late-career Wimbledon charge continued into the semi-finals after she rallied past Jule Niemeier in the last eight on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old's best grand slam run before last week had taken her only as far as round three at the All England Club in 2015, but she is now one win away from a Centre Court final after edging Niemeier in an entertaining 4-6 6-2 7-5 triumph.

Niemeier, at the opposite end of her career at 22, was making her main-draw Wimbledon debut and had looked on course to ride her momentum into the last four.

In only the third all-German grand slam quarter-final of the Open Era, Maria's nerves showed in the first set as she immediately dropped serve and was unable to recover.

But after quickly being broken again at the start of the second, the veteran seized control, battling back as Niemeier appeared to lose her composure.

The decider could have gone either way, with one crucial point going in Maria's favour as Niemeier dived headfirst after a drop shot at the end of a 13-stroke rally, yet experience told at the last.

Data slam: Mother Maria in fine company

Maria gave birth to her second daughter just 15 months ago, but she has returned better than ever and joined esteemed company with a semi-final appearance at 34.

She is just the sixth female player in the Open Era to make the last four at Wimbledon after her 34th birthday, alongside Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Meanwhile, Mirjana Lucic (2017 Australian Open) is the only other European player to achieve that feat at any of the majors.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Maria – 26/37
Niemeier – 39/54

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Maria – 4/7
Niemeier – 3/11

BREAK POINTS WON
Maria – 5/7
Niemeier – 3/9

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios admitted to having a "chip on his shoulder" but dismissed the suggestion he bemoaned the controversy that seems to follow him, insisting he "loves it".

Two days on from an ill-tempered victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas that resulted in both players been fined, Kyrgios defeated 20-year-old Brandon Nakashima to progress to the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

It will be the Australian's first appearance in the last eight of the singles draw at a major since 2015 in Melbourne, however, with his other grand slam quarter-final showing having come at Wimbledon in 2014 – Kyrgios having beaten Rafael Nadal to reach that stage on that occasion.

Cristian Garin of Chile is next up, after what was a reasonably well-mannered display against Nakashima, who Kyrgios was full of praise for.

Yet he still managed to spark some contention on Monday, having wore a red cap and a pair of red Nike Jordan trainers during his post-match on-court interview, breaching Wimbledon's strict dress code.

This was put to Kyrgios in his post-match news conference, with the journalist in question asking the 27-year-old if he thought he was above the rules.

"Because I do what I want," Kyrgios replied. "I'm not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans. I'll wear some [Jordan] triple whites tomorrow.

"Nobody else, even after Wimbledon, really walks with Jordans on the court. I don't moan [about controversy], I love it – more attention for me.

"What's that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?"

Kyrgios' fellow Australian Pat Cash said over the weekend that his compatriot had taken tennis to "the lowest level".

Yet Kyrgios insists he now laughs off criticism, which he believes is a sign of how he has matured as a player.

"Honestly, I don't care. I just smile. It's so funny. It's hilarious," he chuckled. "I almost just wake up and read things and just laugh.

"I never forget things people might have said three, four years ago, they stick with me. I have a massive chip on my shoulder.

"And I sit here now, quarter-finals of Wimbledon again, and I just know there's so many people that are so upset. It's a good feeling.

"I don't think in the past when I’ve got this far in a grand slam, or played big matches, I used to be on my phone a lot, attached to technology, seeing everyone's opinions or highlights, but I feel like I'm able to switch off from that, and that's a big part of my growth. Being obsessed with my girlfriend helps!

"I'm really able to just let that go, separate tennis and life, I think that's the most important thing."

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep claimed victories on Centre Court on Monday, a day on from celebrating the venue's centenary.

Nadal and Halep were among a host of champions, including Roger Federer and last year's winner Novak Djokovic, to stand on Centre Court on Sunday for a celebration of its 100th anniversary.

A day later, they were back at the venue to seal their respective progressions to the quarter-finals.

Halep, Wimbledon champion in 2019, defeated fourth seed Paula Badosa 6-1 6-2, while Nadal overcame Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

Of female players still competing on the WTA Tour, only Serena Williams (14) and Venus Williams (13) have reached more Wimbledon quarter-finals than Halep (five), who will face Amanda Anisimova in the last eight.

Nadal, meanwhile, has now played 350 matches at grand slams – a total bettered only by Federer and Djokovic.

The 22-time grand slam winner was made to work for victory in the third set by Van de Zandschulp, but having overcome a wobble, went on to secure his 18th straight major match win of 2022.

Asked about being given the honour of taking to Centre Court on Sunday, Nadal said: "Yesterday was a beautiful thing sharing the court with legends of our sport.

"Centre Court for 100 years is something very special."

It was a sentiment echoed by Halep, who is looking to reach her first grand slam semi-final since the 2020 Australian Open and has not dropped a set so far at Wimbledon this year.

"Definitely it was a place I wanted to be today. I think I played a great match," she said. "It was a pleasure to be back on Centre Court with this great crowd supporting me.

"I missed it a lot, three years was a [long time].  Yesterday I was on the court with all the champions and it was amazing. I was more nervous than I was today."

Next up for Nadal is Taylor Fritz, who beat the Spaniard in their last meeting in the final of the Indian Wells Masters earlier this season.

While Nadal is into his eighth Wimbledon quarter-final – and his 47th at a grand slam, a tally that lags behind only Djokovic (53) and Federer (58) – Fritz has never reached the last eight of a major before.

"In a personal way, for me to be able to be in quarter-finals after three years, it's amazing for me, so I'm very, very happy," said Nadal, who is hunting the calendar Grand Slam in 2022.

"Every match is different," he added of his tie against Fritz, which he anticipates being tricky.

"He is playing well and having a very good year, including a first Masters 1000 title, against me by the way, but we will be in the quarter-final of Wimbledon, so what should I expect?"

Nick Kyrgios was the recipient of lenient treatment from the chair umpire during his feisty Wimbledon clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas, so says John Lloyd.

Kyrgios has caused a stir at The All England Club over the past week, making headlines not only for his high-quality tennis, but his on-court behaviour.

The outspoken Australian is no stranger to arguing with umpires and line judges but has been particularly vitriolic at times at Wimbledon.

On Saturday he clashed with Tsitsipas, who subsequently accused the 27-year-old of being a "bully". Both players were fined for their conduct.

Now into the quarter-finals after beating Brandon Nakashima on Monday, Kyrgios has matched his best run at a grand slam, reaching the last eight at a major for the first time since 2015.

But former British number one Lloyd believes that stern calls from umpires are the way to keep a lid on Kyrgios' emotions.

Lloyd told Stats Perform: "I love watching Kyrgios because he is in some ways, it's almost like a [Roger] Federer, not in the personality, but the way he can conjure up shots that no one else can get.

"And plus, you never know what he's going to do with the drop, the underarm serves and various other things. That makes him a fun guy to watch. The game is looking for characters and I think we always say that [about Kyrgios].

"I have no problem with some of the stuff he does. But when it gets to the stage, which it was on Saturday, when it becomes a circus where it's all about him, there has to be a line there. 

"I think what happened was the umpire messed up. Something I can't understand is when you're umpiring Nick Kyrgios in a match as big as this, you have to put the best guy out there that won't stand for any stuff. In other words, you've got to set the standard from the beginning.

"[A line judge] came up to the umpire after the second or third game in the middle of the rally to say basically that he had sworn and the umpire sort of looked and then hesitated, didn't give him a warning. It was almost like he was thinking, 'I'll let this one slip.'

"Well, with certain players, you could let it slip. But with Nick, he should have come right down on him. So he should put out the setting to say this is not going to happen and he didn't do that, and after that, Nick just got all over him."

Lloyd also feels that world number five Tsitsipas, who was defeated 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) allowed Kyrgios to get under his skin.

"Tsitsipas was the sideshow. He's just trying to play tennis, and he's not being allowed to because of the constant barrage of talking going on," Lloyd added.

"He's rushing him the whole time. That's Tsitsipas' fault in some ways. He could have slowed it down. He was trying to be professional.

"When he lost the second set, he exploded. Hit the ball into the crowd, it did hit someone off a rebound. He could have got defaulted there.

"But for me, it was Kyrgios that goaded him for the first couple of sets and he was allowed to basically control the way the match was going, and I think that's got to be stopped. It's okay to have a bit of entertainment here and there, but not to the stage where your opponent can't play properly because of all the stuff that's going on."

Kyrgios will face Cristian Garin for a place in the semi-finals. It will be the first quarter-final between two unseeded players at Wimbledon since Arnaud Clement took on Rainer Schuttler in 2008.

Rafael Nadal will face Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after marking his 350th grand slam match with a win over Botic van de Zandschulp.

Nadal is in the hunt for a clean sweep of the majors this season and the two-time Wimbledon champion remained on course with Monday's victory, though he ultimately needed a third-set tie-break to get the job done 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

The 36-year-old's wobble lasted the whole third set, with Nadal squandering the chance to serve out the victory before he gave up three match points.

But Nadal would not let a fourth opportunity slip from his grasp, and Fritz, who beat Jason Kubler in straight sets, is next up.

The American won his last meeting with Nadal, defeating the great Spaniard in the Indian Wells Masters earlier this season.

Nadal set the tone by forcing Van de Zandschulp to salvage two break points in the Dutchman's first service game.

Set one went Nadal's way with under 45 minutes played when he claimed the match's first break, and Van de Zandschulp was swiftly 2-0 down at the start of the second, which the Spaniard went on to dominate.

The 22-time grand slam champion endured a wobble at the start of the third when he squandered a 40-0 lead on his own serve.

Nadal struck straight back, and a second break followed when the world number four reeled off an exquisite, cushioned cross-court winner.

Yet Van de Zandschulp was handed a reprieve, with a double fault and some sloppy shots seeing Nadal fail to serve out the win.

Nadal seemed to have the edge in the tie-break when he came out on top in a wicked rally, yet he saw three match points escape before, finally, an overhit Van de Zandschulp volley sent him into an eighth Wimbledon quarter-final.

Data slam: Another milestone up for Nadal

Nadal has now played in 350 singles matches at grand slam events, becoming just the third man to do so in the Open Era, behind fellow greats Novak Djokovic (378) and Roger Federer (429).

He has won his first 18 grand slam matches in 2022. In the Open Era, only Djokovic (last year) and Rod Laver (1969) have won more matches at the majors from the start of the season. ​

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 29/17
Van de Zandschulp – 31/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 9/2
Van de Zandschulp – 11/7

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 5/11
Van de Zandschulp – 2/4

Nick Kyrgios extended a perfect record in five-set Wimbledon encounters as he defeated Brandon Nakashima to make the last eight at SW19.

The outspoken Kyrgios has made plenty of headlines so far at Wimbledon, and had to battle hard against 20-year-old American Nakashima on Centre Court on Monday, two days after his ill-tempered clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

That win over the world number five took four sets, but Kyrgios needed all five this time around, eventually prevailing 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2.

The victory sent Kyrgios into the last eight at Wimbledon for the second time, after he reached the same stage by beating Rafael Nadal in 2014, while it is only the third time in the Australian's career that he has progressed to a grand slam quarter-final, having last done so in Melbourne in 2015.

It also kept up Kyrgios' 100 per cent record of winning Wimbledon matches that have gone to five sets, with the 27-year-old now 6-0 in that regard, with two of those victories coming at this year's edition of the major.

"First I want to say hell of an effort from Brandon, he's 20 years old and he's going to do some special things that's for sure," said Kyrgios, who needed medical attention on a shoulder injury during the tie, in his on-court interview.

"[It was] nowhere near my best performance, but I fought through, the crowd were amazing.

"I have played a lot of tennis in the last month and a half. His level didn't drop. My five-set level is pretty good and I've been here before, done it before and that is what I was thinking about."

The only disappointment from Kyrgios' point of view was missing out on an all-Australian quarter-final against Alex de Minaur, who squandered a two-set lead as he went down 2-6 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (10-6) to Cristian Garin, who became the first Chilean player to reach the last eight of a grand slam since Fernando Gonzalez at the US Open in 2009.

Any nerves are nothing that a stiff drink will not fix for Kyrgios, however.

"I was really excited to play De Minaur to be honest, he's been flying the Aussie flag for so long and he was two sets up when I came on court," he said.

"I need a large glass of wine tonight for sure.

"I stepped out here amongst the greatest of all time and I beat Nadal [in 2014]. All these experiences that I've had got me over the line today."

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been handed fines for their actions during a fiery Wimbledon clash where the former was accused of being a "bully".

The pair played out an ill-tempered third round encounter on Court One that saw the Australian come from behind to defeat the fourth seed in a 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) win.

The pair traded furious remarks afterwards, with the Greek accusing his rival of having an "evil side", while Kyrgios called his opponent "soft" and suggested he is disliked by his fellow players.

Now, the duo have been handed financial penalties, with Kyrgios charged $4,000 (£3,300) for an audible obscenity and Tsitsipas slapped with a $10,000 (£8,250) fine for unsportsmanlike conduct.

It is the second fine of the tournament for Kyrgios, who was sanctioned for an incident in his opening clash with Britain's Paul Jubb.

The Australian - who experienced grand-slam glory on home soil in the men's doubles earlier this year - will now face Brandon Nakashima in a last-16 tie.

Novak Djokovic beat Tim van Rijthoven on Sunday to take his place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, and was very relieved to get the job done ahead of the 23:00BST curfew.

World number one Djokovic saw off the Wimbledon debutant 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-2 on Centre Court to set up an intriguing last-eight clash with Jannik Sinner.

The contest did not go all the defending champion's way, however, as Van Rijthoven's display in the second set suggested Djokovic would have to dig deep.

But the Serb's response was emphatic as he went on drop just three games in the following two sets, blowing the 25-year-old Dutchman away impressively to reach a 13th Wimbledon quarter-final.

It was also Djokovic's 25th successive win at Wimbledon, a sequence that has only ever been bettered three times in SW19.

For a while there seemed to be a real threat of Van Rijthoven taking the match into a second day, with the curfew looming.

Djokovic suggested he was not entirely aware of the deadline, and that only increased his relief after clinching victory with 22 minutes to spare.

Speaking on court afterwards, Djokovic said: "I don't know if there was a curfew, 11pm? Is that still on? Okay, phew!

"I am lucky, I am lucky. It's only 20 minutes, too, so I'm lucky. I have had some previous experience of playing a match over two days under the roof against [Rafael] Nadal some years ago, and it's never really pleasant if you can't finish the match the same day.

"I am glad I did and now I am just looking forward to the next challenge."

Specifically on Van Rijthoven, Djokovic added: "He was very tough, he's kind of a new face on the tour and actually won his first ATP match in the tournament he won a few weeks ago in his country, beating players in top five, top 10 in the world.

"He was on a streak on this surface, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy with that serve and a lot of talent, great touch and a powerful forehand. He can do a lot of damage.

"It took me a little bit of time to get used to his pace, and the conditions under the roof are a little bit different, a bit slippery, so it takes a bit of adjusting, but overall I closed out the match well."

Novak Djokovic stared danger in the face and scared it off in inimitable fashion as Wimbledon's defending champion scored a late-night win over Tim van Rijthoven.

Chasing a fourth successive title at the All England Club, Djokovic shrugged off the jolt of dropping the second set to scorch through the next two and secure a 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory in the fourth-round contest.

Having been part of an early-afternoon parade of champions, marking Centre Court's centenary, six-time Wimbledon king Djokovic returned to the arena and served a reminder of why he has become so difficult to beat. This was his 25th consecutive match win in the men's singles at Wimbledon, and only Bjorn Borg (41), Roger Federer (40) and Pete Sampras (31) have had more in a row.

Van Rijthoven's fairy-tale rise to prominence during this grass-court season has included wins over world number one Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships. The victory over Medvedev came in the final, with Van Rijthoven's ranking jumping from 205th to 106th on the ATP list, Wimbledon swiftly proffering a wildcard.

Seeds Reilly Opelka and Nikoloz Basilashvili both fell to Van Rijthoven in Wimbledon's early rounds, and when he sealed the second set against Djokovic with back-to-back aces, it fuelled the Dutchman's belief that he might add an even greater scalp.

A dazzling backhand from Djokovic set up break point in game two of the third set, and with a curfew of 23:00BST, the Serbian knew he needed to hurry up. Van Rijthoven speared a forehand long and the break was established, at 21:43BST.

Djokovic surged 5-0 ahead; and although Van Rijthoven spared himself a 'bagel', the damage had been done. Soon the top seed was a set away from the finish line, all across his opponent's game, and Van Rijthoven knew the jig was up. That finish line was crossed at 22:38BST. Djokovic said it had been a "very tough" battle, but he survives and faces Jannik Sinner next.

Data slam: Poles apart, and eventually it showed

Where Van Rijthoven has one ATP-level title, Djokovic has 87. The 35-year-old Serbian remains the firm favourite to be holding the trophy on Centre Court next Sunday, that second set notwithstanding. Djokovic's resilient effort against a man in form means there has still never been an incidence of the men's singles top seed losing to a wildcard at a grand slam in the Open Era (since 1968).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 28/19
Van Rijthoven – 41/53

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 7/2
Van Rijthoven – 20/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/17
Van Rijthoven – 1/4

Ons Jabeur urged the youth of Africa to believe they can make it all the way to Wimbledon as the Tunisian booked her place in the quarter-finals for a second successive year.

The 27-year-old is the new title favourite, following Iga Swiatek's third-round exit, as she chases a maiden grand slam title.

Jabeur was made to work hard for a 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 victory over Belgian Elise Mertens on Sunday, but she has still yet to drop a set.

Next for Jabeur is Czech player Marie Bouzkova, the world number 66, and she is relishing her role as a trailblazer for African and Arab women.

"I enjoy sometimes failing and succeeding after. It's amazing," Jabeur said. "I wish I could really give the message to the young generation, not just from my country but from the African continent.

"I want to see more players here, I want them to believe more in themselves and believe that they can be here. I don't come from a rich family, so you have to really stop finding excuses and go for it, just be yourself and enjoy playing tennis."

World number two Jabeur is the only Tunisian ranked inside the WTA top 700. This is her fifth Wimbledon, and last year's run to the last eight was her best performance at that point, with Aryna Sabalenka preventing her going any further.

Now she has the title in her sights.

"It's amazing to be here and hopefully I can continue," she said in an on-court interview. "I love playing on grass. I love the connection between nature and me, so hopefully it will continue this way for me and maybe through to the finals."

Mertens beat former champion Angelique Kerber in round three, and against Jabeur on Court One she battled from an early 3-1 deficit to force the opening-set tie-break.

It was exhilarating at that point, and Jabeur was relieved to win the breaker, fearing she might not have the wherewithal to come back from dropping the set.

Mertens beat Jabeur in round three at the US Open last year, so the threat she posed was clear.

"She's a great opponent really. It's never easy to play her, and I had to dig deep, very deep, in the tie-break," Jabeur said. "I couldn't imagine myself playing three sets against her."

Jannik Sinner said his win over Carlos Alcaraz ranked among the highlights of his young career after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals with an impressive 6-1 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 victory.

The 20-year-old Italian converted his sixth match point of an enthralling encounter on Centre Court to reach his third grand slam quarter-final.

The contest had been billed as a clash between two of the sport's future superstars, with their combined age the lowest in a fourth-round grand slam match since Juan Martin del Potro faced Kei Nishikori at the 2008 US Open.

At 19 years and 66 days old, Alcaraz had become the youngest male player to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon since 2011, and Sinner was keen to credit his opponent after a battle which lasted three hours and 35 minutes.

"First of all, Carlos is a very tough opponent and a very nice person, so it's always a huge pleasure for me to play against him," Sinner said.

"Today was such a great crowd and especially today, 100 years [since Centre Court opened]… it's just amazing.

"It's tough when you have match point and you still have to play. It's part of the game, part of tennis, and obviously I'm very happy with how I reacted.

"I'm very happy to be in the next round, and hopefully I can play some good tennis also in the next round."

Sinner, who boasts a 5-0 record against Spanish players in 2022, was asked where the triumph ranked among the best moments of his career.

He said: "In the top list, for sure. I didn't expect it because I was not playing so well on the grass.

"Then match after match I was better, I won my first grass-court match here in the first round, and now I'm here in the quarter-finals. I tried to adapt myself and the crowd helps me a lot."

Sinner had previously lost four fourth-round meetings with top-10 players at grand slams, being beaten by Alexander Zverev at the 2020 French Open and 2021 US Open, Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open, and Andrey Rublev at Roland Garros last month.

Sinner also improved his 2022 record against top-10 opponents to 2-5 with the victory, with his only previous win coming against Rublev at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Heather Watson praised Jule Niemeier's "flawless" performance after seeing her best Wimbledon run ended by the German in a straight-sets last-16 reverse.

Watson was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Niemeier on the 100th anniversary of Centre Court's opening, as the home favourite fell short of a first career grand slam quarter-final appearance.

Niemeier's win set up a last-eight clash with compatriot Tatjana Maria, as two German female players reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the same year for just the fifth time since 1987.

In her post-match news conference, Watson lauded her opponent's display and said she will eventually look back on her run to the fourth round with pride. 

"Immediately after walking off the court, I was obviously extremely disappointed. I've taken every match here as a big opportunity and managed to take advantage of it until today," she said.

"But credit to my opponent. I felt like she played really well, especially in that first set. Very flawless tennis. 

"She served big, which was a big difference today, I felt like I was always reacting to her ball. I was not on the front foot like I was in my other matches.

"It's so soon after the match, I'm still deflated and disappointed, I saw today as a big opportunity and thought I would come through it.

"I've always felt good enough, I've won four WTA titles – that's not easy. I know when I light it up I can beat anyone on my day, and tennis is so up and down. 

"I'll look back and be proud of myself for this week, but right now I'm disappointed."

Niemeier became the fourth-youngest German woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the Open Era, with only Bettina Bunge, Steffi Graf and Sabine Lisicki doing so at a younger age.

The 22-year-old recognised the significance of winning on the day of Centre Court's centenary celebrations, after the likes of Roger Federer and Billie Jean King spoke during a parade of former champions, and even apologised to fans for eliminating a home hopeful.

"I didn't want to watch the show before the match because I was pretty nervous and I saw all the players, so I didn't want to see it. But of course, it's a special place, it's one of the biggest courts on Tour," she said.

"The court is so beautiful, and I feel honoured I had the chance to play on Centre Court.

"I just want to say sorry that I had to kick out a British player today!"

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