Novak Djokovic bids for a place in the last four of Wimbledon 2012 when he takes on Florian Mayer on Wednesday.
Djokovic raced into the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday with an emphatic win over his close friend Viktor Troicki but the defending champion admitted it was hard competing against someone he's grown up with on the tour.
"It's hard to kind of express the emotions, you know, to celebrate or to be angry. Really it's kind of difficult what to do and how to behave on the court when you're playing one of your best friends really," he said. "The first match we played is one local tournament when I was eight and he was nine years old. So we go back a long time. We won Davis Cup together. We are very good friends in the private life. So all these things are playing around with your emotions a little bit."
There will be no such difficulties against the German Mayer who pulled off a bit of an upset in his rain interrupted clash with Richard Gasquet. The weather did not affect Mayer's focus and he withstood a comeback from the Frenchman to win 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 and reach the quarters for the first time since 2004.
“Today, I played perfect match,” Mayer said. “I really played well. [For the] first time in this tournament, I felt no pressure going on the court. I played a guy Top 15 in the world. He was the favourite. I played with less pressure than the matches before and my performance was much better than the last two rounds. It's an unbelievable feeling for me right now. Eight years ago I was here in quarter[-finals], and now eight years later [here I am] again. So it's a wonderful dream for me.”
Djokovic won their only previous match 7-5, 6-1 in Dubai last year.
Prediction: Djokovic in three.