ATP Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic tops Kei Nishikori to stay on title course


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ATP Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic tops Kei Nishikori to stay on title course

A former world number 1 and a three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is through to his first Grand Slam semi-final since the US Open 2016 and the eight at Wimbledon, joining Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker and John McEnroe who achieved that before him.

This is also the 32nd Grand Slam semi-final for Novak overall, passing Jimmy Connors who stayed on 31 for the second place in the Open era behind Roger Federer. Novak has defeated Kei Nishikori for the 14th time in 16 encounters, prevailing 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 in two hours and 34 minutes to stay on the winning way after finally reaching the right form in Rome, Paris and Queen's where he had a match point against Marin Cilic in the final. This was the 63rd win for Novak at Wimbledon and the 249th overall, controlling the pace in sets he won and overpowering Kei with a great combo of good serves and deep groundstrokes, as often in their matches.

Djokovic was rock solid behind his first serve, just like in the previous encounters, and he also dominated at the net, winning 18 of 20 points there. Nishikori gained some ground on the second serve return to create seven break points and notch three breaks, which wasn't enough for more than a set.

The Serb delivered fury from his return, taking 46% of the return points to create 13 break points, converting six to have the upper hand in the most of the match. Novak opened a 3-1 lead in the opening set before pulled the break back, staying in touch until game eight when Novak broke him again to close the set on own serve in the following game.

Nishikori struggled to keep the pace with Djokovic at the start of the second set as well, saving four break points before he earned a break in game four, opening a 3-1 lead and keeping the advantage until the end of the set.

The Japanese closed the set with a hold at 5-3 and he was hoping for more of the same in the rest of the match. Novak fends off three break points in game five of the third set and that gave him the momentum and the boost, breaking Kei in games six and eight to clinch the set 6-2 and move closer to the finish line.

They traded breaks at the start of the fourth set and it was Novak grabbed another one in game four to create the crucial gap that he carried through the set for a solid win, sealing the deal with another break in game eight.

Quarter-final result:

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