Wimbledon, England – For nearly 20 minutes at Wimbledon on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic was not his unstoppable, unremarkable self.
After initially running a 5–0 lead, he dropped his undefeated quarterfinal rival, 48th-ranked Marten Fuskovics, three games in a row. He also lost five set points in the process.
Soon, Djokovic recovered himself, as he usually does, and defeated Fuscovi 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 on a windy, windy afternoon at center court in his 10th at the All England Club. th reached the semi-finals and 41st in a major. Tournament.
This allowed the 34-year-old from Serbia to continue his pursuit of a sixth championship at Wimbledon – and what would be his third in a row – a 20th Grand Slam title overall, which would tie the men’s record currently shared by Roger. Federer and Rafael Nadal.
And there it is: Djokovic improves 19-0 in Major matches this season as he chases the first calendar-year Grand Slam by an individual since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic seized trophies on hard courts at the Australian Open in February. Wants to add one on the red clay of the French Open in June and now on the grass of Wimbledon.
Djokovic – who finished with 30, more unforced errors than the winners, 23 – will face Canadian No. 10 Denis Shapovalov for the first time on Friday.
Shapovalov defeated Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on the No. 1 court in about 3 1/2 hours.
“Obviously he’s the best player in the world,” Shapovalov said of the prospect of taking on Djokovic, “but I think anything is possible. And when you first look at the scoreboard on Friday it’s 0- There’s going to be 0. So that’s it. Nothing else matters.”
The 2016 Wimbledon boys’ champion compiled almost twice as many winners as Khachanov, 59-31. That total included 17 aces for Shapovalov, helping to reduce the importance of his 10 double faults.
The last break came in the fifth set at 4-all. Shapovalov converted his fourth break in that game when Khachanov sent a forehand long.
On the other side of the draw, Wednesday’s quarter-finals saw eight-time champion Roger Federer against No. 14 Hubert Herkaz of Poland and No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy against No. 16 Felix Auger-Aliassim of Canada.
Federer and Djokovic have jointly won 13 titles at Wimbledon and played 30 matches in the quarterfinals.
None of the six men remaining in the draw at Wednesday’s start went through to the quarter-finals of the All England Club, equaling the tournament record for most debuts in a round of eight.
Indeed, only one member of the group had previously progressed to the semi-finals at any Grand Slam tournament: Berrettini lost at that stage at the 2019 US Open.
1 Ash Barty vs 2018 champion Angelique Kerber and No 2 Aryna Sabalenka vs No. 8 Karolina Pliskova in the women’s semifinals on Thursday.
Top-seeded Djokovic took just 18 minutes to score 20 of the first 27 points and the opening five games against the 29-year-old Fuskovics of Hungary.
Djokovic said, ‘I started well.
That was when there was a three-game blip, a strange midmatch omission, probably the result of swirling wind that made tennis balls dance unexpectedly in the air.
Soon, Djokovic used a five-game run to bridge the end of the second set and the start of the third, leaving no doubt about the result.
At 4-all in the second set, Djokovic demonstrated his ability to grind it out, never to be disappointed, no matter what.
He had a break point there that when he flung a forehand to cap a 28-stroke exchange, he failed to convert for the longest time of the match. missed opportunity? Sure. head down? no chance. Of course, Fuscovix blinked, netted the forehand, then pushed the backhand long.
The key brake, and a 5-4 lead, his, left Djokovic in place and looked to the stand, then jogged to his seat while Fuscovi trampled him.
The match was less than an hour away and Djokovic never gave up on it again.
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