Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the fourth round match against Russia's Karen Khachanov. Andrew Boyers Reuters Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the fourth round match against Russia's Karen Khachanov. Andrew Boyers Reuters
Noah Ferguson | 12 July, 2018, 08:41

However, Nishikori was prevented from launching a comeback as Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, regained his composure and managed to grind out wins in the third set (6-2) and in the fourth set (6-2) to set up a semifinal match against Juan Martín del Potro or Rafa Nadal.

'I'm grateful, as I said, that it was on Centre Court.

Maybe last year he suffered from a slight dip in motivation, which I also think is completely normal because of what he'd achieved the previous year - winning all four Slams in a row.

It will be Djokovic's first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2016 US Open as he continues his bid to return to the top of the game.

Despite his anger, Djokovic still reeled off 10 of the last 12 games of the quarter-final.

It nearly looked like Djokovic ended up giving Nishikori the point on the ensuing backhand, because when you've earned it you've earned it. Djokovic has been looking like his old self again this Wimbledon, but you have to think there's a voice in the back of his head wondering why this keeps happening to him. "I've been building in the last couple of weeks and my level of tennis is going up", he said.

"I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment", declared the 12th seeded Serb after joining Americans John McEnroe and Pete Sampras in fourth place on the list of most Wimbledon semi-final appearances in the Open Era.

He looks very fired-up, he looks very motivated so I think Novak has got a great shot as well.' Analyzing how elbow issues influenced Djokovic's mental status, Murray added: 'He's spoken about that, he said the mental side has been hard for him. Following the incident, Nishikor - the 24th seed who saved three break points to hold serve at 2-1 in the second set - promptly broke and then held to go 4-1 up.

A tight third set turned in Djokovic's favour as Nishikori went wide and that was enough for the fired-up three-time champion to edge back in front as he served into a 2-1 lead.

"You're saying in the point if I toss my racket like this I'm ruining the court?"

Nishikori, who had won only two matches in 15 meetings with the 12-time major victor, broke for 1-0 in the fourth but was broken straight back.

When Nishikori then bounced his own racket against the court in the fourth set without being given a warning, Djokovic yelled out "double standards" toward the umpire's chair - drawing boos from the Centre Court crowd.

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