With a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 over Kei Nishikori, Novak Djokovic launched himself into the Wimbledon semifinals. It's his first Grand Slam final four appearance since 2016, and his eighth career semifinal at the All England Club.
The match saw a lot of swings in momentum, but it was Djokovic winning 10 of the last 12 games to seal the victory. The Serbian was fully locked in from the start, even as emotions intensified. One bit of drama came when Djokovic was given a warning for throwing his racquet. Nishikori, who did the same thing in the fourth set, didn't receive one.
The-world-is-against-me Djokovic is back, which is bad news for opponents. https://t.co/FCKVs9IK5j— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) July 11, 2018
Djokovic tends to perform best with a "the world is against me" attitude, so his chances at capturing a fourth Wimbledon crown may have just risen.
"I just asked him whether he thought honestly that I damaged the court with the racquet that I throw. I mean, anybody who saw the match, I mean, saw that literally I kind of touched the grass," Djokovic said. "Nishikori did the same in the fourth set and he didn't get a warning. I think that's not fair. He claims that he didn't see what Nishikori has done, but apparently he always sees what I do."
It also helps that Roger Federer was knocked out by Kevin Anderson in five dramatic sets, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.
While Wednesday was a success for Djokovic, Tuesday was also a big day for him. The 31-year-old celebrated the four-year anniversary of his marriage to his wife, Jelena.
Jelena Djokovic is the 12-time Grand Slam champion's biggest fan and supporter. The two began dating long before Djokovic became a household name, and got married in Montenegro in 2014 right after he won Wimbledon. They have since had two children, Stefan and Tara.
Djokovic plays the winner of Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro for a spot in the final.
"I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now. I really do," Djokovic said. "I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals. I don't want to stop here. I hope I can get a chance to fight for a trophy."
Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It is timed for release as the anticipation crests with Roger as returning champion, 10 years after their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship – an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true winner was the sport itself.