Wimbledon 2018: Indignant Novak Djokovic is joy to watch once more
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Jul 14, 2018,
Jul 14, 2018, 1:07
The Swiss previously won 34 straight sets between the third round in 2005 and the final in 2006.
Del Potro fell 4-1 behind in the third set after Simon broke in the third game. Like Djokovic, Nishikori does things on his own terms - he walks between points, scuffing his feet, and on receiving balls ahead of serve, if the distribution was slightly off he would not take a step left nor right to collect it.
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. But Federer went toe to toe with his buoyant opponent in an epic fifth-set tussle until with the score 11-11 Anderson pounced.
And Nishikori broke in front when a Djokovic drop shot caught the net, as the 24th seed kicked on to draw level in the match.
The 12-time major victor defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court to set up a clash on Friday with either world No 1 Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro. It will be the 32nd Grand Slam semi of his career and first since the 2016 U.S. Open but, given what has happened since his previous one, a special feeling nonetheless.
Seeded 12, Wednesday will Djokovic's 41st appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final.
"Anybody who saw the match, saw that literally I kind of touched the grass". It was the first time he played a fourth set at Wimbledon since 2016 against Milos Raonic.
And he did not disappoint with a battling performance reminiscent of days gone by, even if he did fall out with umpire Carlos Ramos. "You think I ruined the court by tossing the racket two metres behind the baseline?"
"Approaching Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year for me is quite different from any other year because of circumstances that I was in in the last 12 months, the injury, the surgery, so forth", Djokovic said. The level of tennis has been going up in the past couple of months and tournaments. "I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment".
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. "But hopefully I have two more matches to play".
The 2011, 2014 and 2015 champion was clearly unsettled by the dispute, quickly surrendering the set.
Khachanov's display was flashy but full of errors, and Djokovic was ruthless in punishing them, coming through 6-4 6-2 6-2 to set up a last-eight meeting with Kei Nishikori.
Although he was broken twice in the opening set, Djokovic was rattling through the games at supersonic speed.