Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission

Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission

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.

The Argentine, who leads the stubborn baseliner 4-3 in previous encounters, levelled on his second break point and it went to 5-5, but Simon broke again to take the first set off Del Potro in the tournament so far.

The Spaniard proved it with a daring chase-down attempt during his win over Juan Martin del Potro overnight, climbing into the stands after trying to reach a ball.

Federer had a match point at 5-4 in the third set, but struck a backhand into the net before the eighth-seeded Anderson broke in the following game and held serve.

Novak Djokovic was kept waiting in the wings till after 7 pm local time before he could start swinging his racket against Russia's Karen Khachanov at Wimbledon on Monday.

'I don't think it really mattered, to be honest.

The 12-time Slam champion will face old rival and world No 1 Nadal, who eventually came through against Del Potro in a five-set epic that lasted four hours and 48 minutes on Centre Court to reach his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and 28th at the majors. "But he played a great three points", said Nishikori. "I think he was playing more aggressive and didn't give me any free points".

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From court scheduling to code violations, from poor chair calls to catcalls, Novak Djokovic would be entitled to feel forsaken by the Wimbledon Gods were it not for the fact that he will be contesting his first grand-slam semi-final in two years.

"I think it was great quality tennis and in the final set there were some incredible points", said Nadal who was a 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 victor.

"So I think it's not fair but it is the way it is, in the mix of emotions and a tough match it happens". I know how I threw the racquet.

After two years of physical and mental struggles, Djokovic appears fit and confident and ready to try to add to his tally of 12 grand slam titles.

Asked whether he was a "man on a mission" to get back to where he left off, the Serb could only agree: "Of course, that's why I'm here", he said.

Maybe I don't have a good record with him, but I always enjoy playing him'. "So hopefully I can keep going".

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