LONDON, July 11: Novak Djokovic became a serious Wimbledon title contender as he made his first semifinal since 2015 with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Kei Nishikori.
It was performance of resilience and resolve from the former number one, reminiscent of the player who held all four Grand Slam titles two years ago.
After taking the first set, Djokovic’s Japanese opponent saved four break points before levelling.
The Serb took the next and fought from a break down in the fourth to win.
Earlier on Tuesday, Germany’s Julia Goerges got the better of Kiki Bertens 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to make her first appearance in the semifinals at the All England Club. She will take on 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in her maiden Grand Slam semifinal after coming back from a set down to defeat Bertens.
Bertens came into the match leading 2-0 in the pair’s head-to-head record – including the Charleston final earlier this year.
Eleventh seed Angelique Kerber reached the Wimbledon semifinals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Kerber, the highest-ranked seed left in the women’s competition, dominated the first set as Kasatkina struggled with nerves.
Fourteenth seed Kasatkina, 21, grew in confidence but Kerber came through to win on her seventh match point.
The German, 30, will face Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday after she beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4.
Ostapenko, last year’s French Open champion, already has a good pedigree on grass and has reached this year’s semifinal without dropping a set.
She won the junior title in 2014 and was the only Wimbledon quarterfinalist from last year to reach the last eight this year.
The Latvian struck 32 winners to just six from her opponent and Cibulkova, who had won both of their previous meetings, could do nothing but watch the ball fly past her and hope her opponent would start to miss. Ostapenko did that enough in the second set to keep it competitive but Cibulkova could not find a way to disrupt her rhythm and the Latvian clinched victory with a final backhand winner. – Agencies