Wimbledon | Djokovic first into semis
NOVAK Djokovic, the three-time champion, continued his re-birth as he reached the Wimbledon semi-finals
The winner of 12 Grand Slams has suffered with injury and loss of form after dominating the sport until Andy Murray knocked him off the world No.1 spot in 2016. It had cost him his invincibility tag.
The fire in his belly is back. Watch out if you have to play this man! John McEnroe
He declared he deserved to play on Centre Court – and he proved his point.
But it seems redemption is on the cards as he overcame Kei Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 to reach his eighth All England Club semi-final.
Legend John McEnroe said: “The fire in his belly is back. Watch out if you have to play this man!”
And Djkovic said: “Feels great to be in the last four of a Slam. I’ve been building on a level of tennis in the last couple of months. Getting better and better. I feel I’m peaking at the right moment.”
Djokovic received a warning for racket abuse. He said: “I thought that was unnecessary to get a warning. I didn’t harm the grass. Not fair.”
Remorseless Djokovic has had a steely glint in his eye in London SW19, heightened when he got upset with the crowd while overcoming British No.1 Kyle Edmund.
The sort of glint which had all but disappeared in the last year or two with the Serb hampered by injury and form which dropped below what we were used to seeing from a player who featured in all four Grand Slam finals in 2015 and three a year later.
The 31-year-old broke Nishikori early but the Japanese No.1 broke back.
Yet Djokovic managed to break Nishikori a second time at 4-3 with his opponent gifting it with a series of errors. And he even wrapped up the set with the help of the Japanese on his third set point.
Djokovic held three break points at 1-1 in the second before Nishikori clawed it back to hold on.
To add insult to injury for Djokovic, he received the code violation for bouncing his racket in frustration and gave umpire Carlos Ramos a piece of his mind.
It seemed he was distracted as he was broken in the next game and then went 4-1 down before Nishikori levelled the match.
But Djokovic shrugged off his disappointment to race home.