Novak Djokovic reaches eighth Wimbledon semi-final after win over Kei Nishikori

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Novak Djokovic ended his near two-year absence from grand slam semi-finals by booking a place in the last four at Wimbledon.

The Serbian beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 to reach his first semi-final at any of the four tennis majors since the US Open in 2016.

After a slump following two years of almost total domination of the men’s game, Djokovic’s star appears to be back on the rise and he is a clear contender to win a fourth Wimbledon title.

He had been yearning for a Centre Court date, after playing as many games on Court Two as the main show court so far this tournament.

And he did not disappoint with a battling performance reminiscent of days gone by, even if he did fall out with umpire Carlos Ramos.

This was his 13th win in a row against Nishikori, who is also on the way back up after an injury nightmare.

Djokovic now awaits Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro and on Friday will contest his first All England Club semi-final since 2015.

The Centre Court spectators, who included the Duchess of Cornwall, Rory McIlroy and Sir Richard Branson watching on from the Royal Box, were wowed by two highlight-reel rallies in the first five games. The second of those saw Nishikori follow up a ‘hot dog’ between-the-legs shot with a thunderous backhand winner.

That period saw an early Djokovic break immediately cancelled out before the Serbian struck again at 4-3, thanks in part to a stunning forehand on the run, and he served the first set out.

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.

Djokovic, seeded 12th, was visibly disappointed at those missed opportunities, incurring a warning from umpire Ramos for throwing his racket, and Nishikori made him feel even worse when he broke to lead 3-1 after Djokovic put an attempted drop shot into the net.

Later in the match, Djokovic was clearly frustrated and complained of “double standards” when Nishikori was not punished for a racket throw.

The Japanese remained in control and served it out to level the match and he appeared in the ascendancy as, after saving a break point, he then raced to a 0-40 lead on Djokovic’s next service game.

But the three-time champion here turned the tables on Nishikori, holding his serve and then breaking in the next game to start a run of four successive games which allowed him to take the third set 6-2.

Nishikori went a break up immediately in the fourth set, but that was not the start of a comeback as Djokovic reeled off four games on the spin which helped send him into the last four.

“It feels great to be in the last four of a slam,” Djokovic said on the BBC. “I have been building over the last couple of weeks, and the level of tennis I have played in the last couple of months felt like it was getting better and better and I feel like I am peaking at the right moment.

“I have been here before and I will try and enjoy this victory.

“I have worked very hard to try and get myself in the best possible shape for the biggest event and this is certainly one of the best.” 

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Andy Murray voted less boring than Tim Henman in online poll suggested by the Scot - Wimbledon diary

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Andy Murray‘s stint as a pundit for the BBC has got off to a good start as the Scot was voted less boring than Tim Henman in a poll that was suggest by the pair themselves.

Murray, who pulled out of Wimbledon before the tournament started as he continues to regain his full fitness from a hip surgery he underwent early this year, was in the BBC studio at Wimbledon on Tuesday, joined by Henman and Sue Barker, and will be commentating on the men’s quarter-final matches on Wednesday.

Henman started things off by asking Murray: “If there was an opinion poll and the public were asked, who do they think is more boring, me or you, who do you think they’d go for? It’s tight isn’t it?”

Murray replied: “It would be tight. Well could we do it? Could we sort that out?”

Barker promised the poll would go on the BBC website and the results are in. They’re not as tight as they thought it would be with Henman voted more boring than Murray by 65 per cent of the people who took part in the poll.

Poll via BBC Sport

Poll via BBC Sport


Murray, a self-professed tennis nerd, is exactly the stats geek we thought he was.

From nailing Serena Williams’ Grand Slam semi-final appearance count, to the number of tiebreaks and sets Milos Raonic and John Isner have played against each other.

His analysis on Tuesday ranged from breaking down Angelique Kerber’s mental struggles last season, to saying Novak Djokovic can beat everyone left in the tournament.

It’s only a couple of days of work but it’s fair to say that Murray has already outperformed many pundits who have been doing this for years.

THE SERENA SHOW

Meanwhile, Serena Williams has been asked in nearly every press conference this fortnight when her friend, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, would be coming to watch any of her matches at Wimbledon.

Williams, who attended the royal wedding, joined Markle at a polo match before the tournament and has been saying she needs to keep winning matches in order for her friend to come down to SW19.

Now that the American is in the semi-finals, will Markle make an appearance in the Royal Box?

“I don’t know. Just stay tuned, right?” said Williams with a smile.

She then tapped her hands against the table, mimicking a drum roll, and added: “Stay tuned for the next episode, Serena Williams: Centre Court.”

That’s a show I would binge-watch on Netflix.

Serena at the royal wedding.

Serena at the royal wedding.

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Serena Williams sets up Goerges rematch, Kerber and Ostapenko to face off for first time - Wimbledon video highlights

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The women’s quarter-finals delivered four nail-biting encounters at Wimbledon on Tuesday, with Serena Williams coming back from a set down to defeat Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and set up a semi-final against Germany’s Julia Goerges.

“This is only my fourth tournament back, so I don’t feel pressure. I don’t feel I have to win this, I don’t feel I have to lose this. I’m just here to prove that I’m back. I still have a long way to go to be where I was,” said Williams.

Goerges also had a fightback of her own as she overcame her good friend, Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to reach her maiden Grand Slam semi-final at the age of 29.

“It’s never easy playing a friend, especially when you know each other so well. I don’t know what to say right now. I’m just very happy with my performance today and I’m looking forward to the next one,” said the 13th-seeded Goerges.


The German lost to Williams in the third round at the French Open last month and will be searching for a better outcome this time around.








Latvian Jelena Ostapenko found the fire that earned her the French Open crown last year and battled back from a break down in the opening set to skip past Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4.


“It was a very tough match but I was just trying to enjoy it because it’s really great to be here in the second week and in the quarter-finals, now I’m in semis. I’m really happy the way I played, I was down in the first set but I was fighting till the end and I think I finished kind of confident,” said the 21-year-old.


Her reward is a semi-final showdown against 2016 runner-up Angelique Kerber, who needed seven match points, and a 10-minute final game to defeat crafty Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5.


Watch highlights above from a memorable day eight at Wimbledon.



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