Djokovic roars into semi-finals – and has still not lost on Centre Court for 10 years

By Charlie Stong at Wimbledon

Italy’s Jannik Sinner will face champion Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-final after overcoming Roman Safiullin in four sets on Tuesday.

Sinner, the number eight seed, won 6-4/3-6/6-2/6-2 in 2hrs 14 minutes on Court No.1

Djokovic, the seven-time champion at the All England Club, saw off another Russian, Andrey Rublev, also in four sets, 4-6/6-1/6-4/6-3 on Centre Court.

Djokovic was forced to dig deep after losing the first set – the second he had lost in as many days after needing four sets to beat Hubert Hurkacz on Monday.

The Centre Court crowd got behind Rublev, who threatened to take a two sets to one lead, but he was denied by the Serb, who was then at his very best in the fourth set, breaking serve to win it 6-3.

Djokovic has not lost on Centre Court for 10 years – a run of 33 consecutive matches. Afterwards Djokovic said: “Thank you for making the atmosphere great for both of us players.

“There were some thrilling rallies. Andrey is someone who has been around the top 10 for a few years and I have to congratulate him for a great tournament.

“Thank you for bringing the numbers, up but I don’t like to think about the numbers. All I am thinking about is the next match. It’s only going to get tougher, but hopefully I can have another win in two days’ time.

“Any tennis player wants to be in a position where everyone wants to beat you. The pressure is paramount every time I come out on the court. But it motivates me and inspires me to play my best tennis.

“I know they want to get a scalp and they want to win, but it ain’t happening, still.”

In the women’s draw Marketa Vondrousova sprang a surprise with victory over world number 4 Jessica Pegula, from the US.

The Czech world number 42 won 6-4/2-6/6-4 in five minutes short of two hours. It is by far Vondrousova’s best performance at a grand slam – she has never been beyond the second round at one of the big four tournaments before this Wimbledon.

She will play Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, who beat number one seed Iga Swiatek in an incredible three-set match on Centre Court earlier in the day. Read the match report from that one here.

Pictured top: Novak Djokovic after his Centre Court win this evening (Picture: PA)


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