London, (Asian independent) The Netherlands’ Tim van Rijthoven continued his dream Grand Slam debut in style after he registered an impressive 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 third-round victory over 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili at Wimbledon 2022, here on Friday.
Currently No 104 in the ATP Rankings, van Rijthoven is just the seventh player since 2000 to reach the fourth round on his first main draw appearance at a major.
Rijthoven had not won a tour-level match prior to the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch three weeks ago, but the 25-year-old stormed to the title at the ATP 250 event in his homeland with a run that included victories against Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev.
The Dutchman has maintained that form at Wimbledon, where he is competing as a wild card at the grass-court major. He wrapped up a one-hour, 42-minute victory over Basilashvili to set up a fourth-round clash with top seed Novak Djokovic or world No. 30 Miomir Kecmanovic.
As it was during his title run in the Netherlands, Van Rijthoven’s serve proved a potent weapon against Basilashvili. The 25-year-old won 88 percent (37/42) of points behind his first delivery against the Georgian, giving him the freedom to stay aggressive against his opponent’s serve.
After clinching the opening set with a break of the Basilashvili serve in the ninth game, Van Rijthoven found another level as three further breaks took him to the second set. The world No. 104 struck the ball powerfully from deep with consistency, dictating play as Basilashvili struggled to find his rhythm in the pair’s maiden ATP head-to-head meeting.
The more sharp return earned Van Rijthoven a 2-0 lead in the third set. On the brink of reaching the fourth round on Grand Slam debut, however, some signs of nerves began to creep in.
Five-time tour-level titlist Basilashvili took advantage of a lapse from his opponent to reclaim the break, but the Dutchman regained his composure immediately, converting his first match point on the Basilashvili serve at 5-4.