World Cup, Novak Djokovic cheers for Croatia and gets heavily criticized

Florence Fletcher
July 14, 2018

Novak Djokovic was kept waiting in the wings till after 7pm local time before he could start swinging his racket against Russia's Karen Khachanov at Wimbledon on Monday.

The 12-time major victor defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court to set up a clash on Friday with either world No 1 Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro. He dispatched Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, in two hours and 38 minutes in the last eight at Wimbledon and the inner steel that characterized his previous 12 successes at Grand Slam level has reappeared.

But having got his foothold in the second set, Djokovic's nous and show-court experience shone through, making it 13 wins on the bounce for the Serb against Nishikori.

In the second set of his quarterfinal match against Kei Nishikori on Centre Court, Djokovic threw his racket in disgust, argued with the referee, and went on to lose the set. "The expectations he's had to deal with for over a decade, 15 years, I mean, at the top of the game, he's able to deal with it so well, which isn't easy".

After racing through the first set, Djokovic was handed his first code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after bouncing his racquet into the grass in frustration at squandering three break points in the third game of the second set.

Asked whether he was a "man on a mission" to get back to where he left off, the Serb could only agree: "Of course, that's why I'm here", he said. Djokovic broke Nishikori's serve seven times, and finished with six aces.

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Meanwhile, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro met stubborn resistance from Frenchman Gilles Simon and had to settle for a suspension of their Wimbledon fourth round match as he led 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7 after more than three hours on Court Two.

Next up for the Spaniard is a blockbuster last four showdown with Serb Novak Djokovic. "I'm a different person, different player today".

It will be Djokovic's first semifinal Wimbledon appearance since 2015. "It didn't harm the grass". I don't want to stop here.

Defending champion Roger Federer has been knocked out of Wimbledon after wasting a match point during a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 defeat to Kevin Anderson of South Africa on Wednesday.

"After surgery I didn't think it was going to take me so much time to really get on the desired level". Ramos then hit Djokovic with a time violation warning for taking too long to serve in the seventh game of the fourth set. "I am peaking at the right moment". "I think that's not fair".

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