Djokovic roars into Wimbledon semi-finals

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the fourth round match against Russia's Karen Khachanov. Andrew Boyers Reuters

Del Potro saved two break points in the sixth game, a deft chip from the baseline that dipped over the net followed by a forehand victor, before taking the opening set in a 7-1 tiebreak. "I like my chances against Nishikori", said Djokovic.

"I'm grateful but at the same time trying not to get ahead of myself too much".

"I have been building on my game and working on the level of tennis that I have been playing in the last few months".

"It's not the first time in the semi-finals - I've been here before - but first I'll try to enjoy this victory before thinking about the next opponent".

"I am very grateful to play on the court I love [Centre Court] and to be competing at a high level".

'I thought it was unnecessary to get the warning, ' he told the BBC after the 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 win.

Now ranked only 21st in the world, with his career stalling since his 12th Grand Slam title at the 2016 French Open, last year's Wimbledon saw him retire in the quarter-finals with a season-ending elbow injury.

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Djokovic last appeared in the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2015, when he won. But a semi-final?

The Spaniard reached his 28th Grand Slam semi-final and his first at Wimbledon since 2011.

The momentum had shifted in favour of Nishikori and Djokovic, who had a verbal tug-of-war with the Centre Court crowd in his third round clash against Kyle Edmund earlier in the tournament, was going through the motions on court. But there was no stopping the Serb once he made it on to Court One as he romped to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 win to reach the quarterfinals for a 10th time.

But the Argentine broke back immediately with a volley and then saved another break point at 5-5 with an ace.

Nishikori put up an admirable fight but was not clinical enough to hold back Djokovic's tide-finally collapsing 6-2 with a third break of the set. 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. He (Nishikori) even threw the racket in the fourth set and the umpire said he didn't see him so I get the warning, he doesn't.

From court scheduling to code violations, from poor chair calls to catcalls, Novak Djokovic would be entitled to feel forsaken by the Wimbledon Gods were it not for the fact that he will be contesting his first grand-slam semi-final in two years.

Novak looked great. That fire in the belly is back.

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