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Djokovic into fourth Wimbledon final


Novak Djokovic hits a shot during his Wimbledon semifinal match against Richard Gasquet in London on Friday. – UNI
 LONDON, July 10: Defending champion Novak Djokovic swept into his fourth Wimbledon final with a ruthlessly efficient 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet on Friday.

Djokovic, the world number one, survived an unusually sloppy start and eventually dismissed the French 21st seed with 12 aces and 46 winners in two hours and 20 minutes on Centre Court.

The 28-year-old will go for his third All England Club title, and his ninth at the majors, when he faces either seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer or world number three Andy Murray in Sunday’s final. Djokovic defeated Federer in last year’s final and lost to Murray in the 2013 showpiece.

“It was a very good performance considering the occasion. Semi-finals are always tough and things could have gone his way in the first set. That was the turning point,” Djokovic said after booking his 17th Grand Slam final berth. Djokovic played down concerns about a left shoulder injury that twice needed treatment and insisted he would be ready for the final.

“It’s nothing that worries me honestly. It will be fine for the next match,” he said.

“I have a responsibility to play well here in the cradle of tennis. It is an honour to play in the Wimbledon final – the most watched tennis match in the world.

“I’m just glad to reach another final. I will be ready for it.”

Gasquet added: “I did a good match, but the tie-break was important, winning that would have given me confidence.

“It was 2-2 in the tie-break then it was 7-2 very fast. He never missed. That’s why he’s number one in the world.”

For the first time, Djokovic has made the Wimbledon, Australian and French Open finals in the same year.

Djokovic, who also won Wimbledon in 2011, now has a remarkable 47-3 record in 2015 and one more win would give the reigning Australian Open champion his second Grand Slam of 2015.

It would also go a long way to erasing the heartache of his French Open final loss against Stan Wawrinka last month –a defeat that denied Djokovic the only major title to elude him.

Watched by a Royal Box packed with celebrities including Thierry Henry, Alex Ferguson and Bjorn Borg, Djokovic once again showed how tough he is to take down.

Gasquet’s surprise run had brought him back to the Wimbledon last four for the first time since 2007.

The 29-year-old, who was bidding for a first major final, caused one of the bigger upsets in this year’s tournament when he knocked out Wawrinka in quarter-finals. – PTI

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