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And so it begins…

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Djokovic still in cruise mode

There was a female in the crowd who had no doubt of Novak Djokovic’s position in the game. Wearing a ‘Team Djokovic’ face mask, she displayed a placard which read ‘Djokovic GOAT’.

I started extremely well, didn't do many things wrong in the first six games. One break of serve in the second and third set was enough to clinch the victory - credit to Marton for fighting and hanging in there, he had a great tournament Novak Djokovic

And the reigning champion took another step towards convincing others that he is the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ when he reached his tenth Wimbledon semi-final with a “solid” if unspectacular 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over unseeded Marton Fucsovics, the third Hungarian to make the last eight of a Slam in the Open era.

Djokovic, a five-time champion and world No.1, is on the road to setting a series of new heights in the sport.

And the Serb, who meets Canadian tenth seed Denis Shapovalov for a final spot, said: “Going for history is a huge incentive for me. Let’s keep it going.”

Djokovic kept on course for his series of goals as he reached his 41st major semi-final with his 100th Tour victory on grass.

* He is chasing a 20th Grand Slam crown which would put him equal top of the Slams-won list with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.

* Aiming to be only the fifth male player to claim the opening three majors of the year, following Jack Crawford (1933), Don Budge (1938), Lew Hoad (1956) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969).

* Bidding to be the third among them, with Budge and Laver, to claim all four Slams in a calendar year.

* Attempting to become the first male player to achieve the Golden Slam, having already taken the Australian and French Open titles this Olympic year.

The phenomenal Serb might not enjoy the full love the Centre Court crowd has for Roger Federer, but he has at least their respect. And the relationship still has time to blossom into a romance given the reception he was given at the finish in front of a full crowd.

Djokovic might not have been at his brilliant best to outclass Fucsovics but he is ripping up the history books.

The 34-year-old said to the crowd: “I am aware of certain stats, I love this sport with all my heart, body and soul have been devoted to it since I was four, sometimes things do look surreal for me but I try to live in the moment and take every opportunity I have on the court.

“The first time we had a full stadium since the season restarted so I am grateful, thank you for coming out today.

“I started extremely well, didn’t do many things wrong in the first six games. One break of serve in the second and third set was enough to clinch the victory – credit to Marton for fighting and hanging in there, he had a great tournament.”

Djokovic, the hot favourite, had proved he is getting hotter and hotter as he turned up the thermostat after losing the opening set of his first-round match-up against British debuting teenager Jack Draper.

And his dominance continued as he took a two sets lead against world No.48 Fucsovics who did not help himself with a series of forehand errors.

Djokovic roared not like a lion but like a wolf if you were to remember his revelation earlier in the tournament, that he grew up with the wild mammal living in the Serbian mountains.

And his ‘wolf energy’ helped carry him through.

When he broke Fucsovics at the start of the third, the writing was on the wall for the Hungarian.

But Djokovic had to save four break points in the next game before holding for a 2-0 advantage.

And it proved enough. Fucsovics would not surrender his serve again but Djokovic sealed the match on his own as another errant forehand from his opponent drifted wide.


Marton Fucsovics was unable to make an impression on the Djokovic game

AELTC/Ben Solomon - Pool/Getty Images




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