Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission

Novak Djokovic speaks out on narrowly escaping Wimbledon scheduling nightmare

But the 12-times major victor regained his cool sufficiently enough to safely take his place in the semi-finals for the first time since snaring his third title at The All England Club in 2015. His last semifinal appearance at a Grand Slam was at the US Open in 2016, where he lost in the final to Stan Wawrinka.

"It feels nice to be back in the last four of a Grand Slam, I didn't experience that for a while". "But I'm still here, so".

"He was playing very deep, he was going both sides with his back and then his forehand too. he was making me run all the time". Early on he was bothered by the glare off the sun, adjusting his serve and then sporting a cap.

Asked afterward whether anger helps his game, he responded: "Sometimes it fires you up, so. I think confidence is back for him".

Twice he was hit with violations.

The South African saved three break points before taking the set 7-5. "You think I ruined the court by tossing the racket two metres behind the baseline?"

"I didn't harm the grass, I know how I threw the racket".

That didn't seem to affect his focus, though, and neither did a time violation he was given when serving at 4-2, 30-30 in the fourth set. 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.

"Also psychologically obviously, I was so fortunate to have so much success on the tour over the course of 10-plus years".

But having become the first Japanese man to reach the quarter-finals since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995, Nishikori must now overturn a 13-2 career losing record against three-time champion Djokovic on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic believes he is peaking at the right time as he looks to return to past glories by challenging for the title at Wimbledon. After a marathon final set, a double fault on Federer in the 23rd game was ultimately what did in the No. 1 player.

Nishikori had to survive heavy attack on his serve early in the second as Djokovic smelled blood, saving four break points, which included a 0-40 game. A final break clinched with a forehand victor, and the match was lost.

He had been yearning for a Centre Court date and did not disappoint, with a battling performance reminiscent of days gone by, even if he did fall out with umpire Carlos Ramos.

However, Djokovic immediately and emphatically responded with a break to love, and then forged a 4-2 lead when Khachanov fired into the net, only for the Russian to maintain the frenetic nature of the opener with a second break of his own.

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