Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Wimbledon is obviously a very special tournament: Djokovic

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
Sergio Cook | 14 July, 2018, 08:52

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in their men's quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 11, 2018. The world number 40 was unable to mount a response this time and evidence fortune was in the Serbian's favour came on his second of two set points when a Khachanov slip enabled him to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Nishikori, who failed to take advantage of three break points early in the third set and lost his serve immediately afterwards, reckoned the Serb was timing his return to form just right.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion then raised his level in the fourth set and finished with a victor into the corner to book his place in Friday's semi-finals where he was joined by a familiar foe as Nadal won through late in the day. I don't want to stop here.

He added: "I played very well in Queen's (where he finished runner-up) coming into Wimbledon".

Scot Murray, 32 - who triumphed here past year alongside Martina Hingis - and former singles world No.1 Azarenka moved into the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 win over Matwe Middelkoop and Johanna Larsson.

Djokovic, who beat the big-serving Russian Karen Khachanov in the fourth-round late on Monday, also dwelt on the mental adjustment he has had to make in the last 24 months, when he has gone without a Grand Slam title.

"I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don't know where the hell I was moving to". "I didn't harm the grass", he said. I haven't spent too much time on the court. I think that's not fair. It will be Djokovic's first semi-final at a major since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they chased after blinding winners.

Yet the 22-year-old, playing in the last 16 for the second successive grand slam, saw his hopes severely hindered by mistakes and a sliced forehand wide gave Djokovic a pair of break points - only one of which he needed.

He came into the match having won 32 consecutive sets at Wimbledon, a run he stretched to 34 before faltering. "I really do", Djokovic said.

Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I am very grateful to play on the court I love and to be competing at a high level.

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