World No. 104 Tim van Rijthoven says playing Novak Djokovic on the Centre Court at Wimbledon is a dream come true as he reveals he will enter the match believing he can win. Van Rijthoven, 25, has been enjoying a great grass season so far as he lifted his maiden ATP title in 's-Hertogenbosch three weeks ago.
Now, van Rijthoven has been through to his first Grand Slam round-of-16. On Friday, van Rijthoven defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-3 6-4. When asked about his upcoming match versus Djokovic, van Rijthoven said he will enter the match "thinking I can win it."
“Before the tournament started, it was a dream for me to play [Djokovic]," van Rijthoven said, per Tennishead. ‘So to be able to have that chance and to maybe even play on Centre Court or Court No. 1 is beautiful and magical.
I go into every match thinking I can win the match. Also against Djokovic I’ll go into that match thinking I can win that match”.
Van Rijthoven has never been more confident
Not only that van Rijthoven clinched his first ATP title in 's-Hertogenbosch, he also earned his first ATP win there.
Before winning 's-Hertogenbosch, van Rijthoven had been mainly playing on the Challenger Tour. When asked about his confidence going into the Djokovic match, van Rijthoven admitted he has been having this type of mindset for only the past few months.
“That’s recent. Maybe like a couple months that I’ve had that mindset. It’s basically going into every match thinking I’m the better player. Even though it’s maybe not always the case,” van Rijthoven explained.
Djokovic has been absolutely dominant at Wimbledon in recent years as he has won the tournament's past three editions. Djokovic's last loss at Wimbledon came in the 2017 quarterfinal, when he was forced to retire versus Tomas Berdych. It remains to be seen if van Rijthoven can stun Djokovic and reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.