Novak Djokovic surged into the fourth round at Wimbledon while a couple more obstacles on his path to the final were removed.

Defending champion Djokovic dropped a set against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Court One but still went through 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4, and will face Frenchman Ugo Humbert next.

“Credit to Hurkacz for playing well. He pushed me. He served well. He attacked the ball mid-court. He gave it all and played a great quality match, I thought,” said Djokovic.

“I think I should have capitalised on my opportunities also in the second set. I wasn’t really on top of his second serve. I was a bit hesitant in the play, which wasn’t the case in the first two matches.

“But I think third set was great. The fourth set, as well, very solid. I’m really pleased with the way I finished the match.”

Meanwhile fourth seed Kevin Anderson, beaten by Djokovic in the final 12 months ago and a potential semi-final opponent this year, was sent tumbling out.

Karen Khachanov, the 10th seed, also departed meaning aside from Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, only eighth seed Kei Nishikori remains in the draw out of the top 10 – and he still has a third-round match to play.

Anderson, in only his second tournament after injury, was beaten in straight sets by Guido Pella of Argentina, the 26th seed.

“Without a doubt playing a lot of matches and being match tough, having a lot of confidence in that process, is very valuable. I haven’t had that right now,” admitted the South African.

Pella also defeated the beaten finalist of 2017, Marin Cilic, at last year’s Championships. He will meet Milos Raonic, who accounted for 6ft 11in American Reilly Opelka, in the last 16.

Khachanov lost to Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish 23rd seed winning 6-3 7-6 (3) 6-1 to set up a manic Monday meeting with Benoit Paire.

The 11th seed also fell by the wayside, Russian Daniil Medvedev losing a three-and-a-half hour five-setter to Belgium’s David Goffin.

He will face veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who beat Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano in straight sets.

Humbert secured a shot at Djokovic after knocking out another seed, teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime, in straight sets.