Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from a two-set handicap. He defeated Jannik Sinner (ranked 13th in the world) 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, Tuesday in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
“There were two matches: he was better in the first two sets. I took a break to go to the bathroom at the end of the second set. I took the opportunity to talk to me in the mirror to cheer me up,” said Djokovic.
“On the way back, I had the chance to make the break quickly in the third set. It gave me confidence, and I felt that he had started to doubt.”
Djokovic continued the Serb, who has 26 wins in a row at Wimbledon, where he has not lost since his withdrawal in the quarterfinals in 2017.
“I still think I can go back two sets behind. Maybe it’s the experience, the toilet break, or a combination of both… ” he joked.
He will face the British Cameron Norrie (12th) on Friday, winner of a duel of five sets against David Goffin. He will try to climb for the 8th time in the final of the Major on the grass where he seeks a seventh title.
Sinner is 20 years old and this was his second in Wimbledon. On the other hand for Djokovic, it was his 84th time in the London Major.
He equals Jimmy Connors in second place among the players who have won the most. Indeed, behind Roger Federer (105).
Early in the match, Djokovic seemed to have to quietly pocket the first set when he quickly flew away 4-1. But the game was balanced.
The Serbian committed some direct fouls. The Italian returned to 4-4 before succeeding in the decisive break to lead 6-5. He did not miss his chance, on his serve, to win this first set.
Sinner dominated the second set with more solid (3 aces at 0.100% success after his first service balls) without the slightest trace of emotion.
But Djokovic came back from his toilet break remotivated. He increased his first ball rate and dominated the set after breaking to lead 3-1.
He did not concede a single breaking ball and twice took his opponent’s serve in the fourth set.
In the final game of this fourth set, Sinner fell in a run to recover cushioning and twisted his left ankle. He stayed on the ground for a while, then got up with Djokovic’s help and resumed the game.
He didn’t look injured, saved two set balls but lost the game and the set.
Everything had to be redone, but Djokovic continued on the steamroller mode.
He made the break to lead 2-1: on the breaking ball. Sinner led the exchange, but his cushioning stopped in the strip of the net.
Djokovic then managed the double break to lead 5-2. He first placed a backhand cross pass at the end of the race – and found himself flat on his stomach. Thus offering himself a breaking ball on which Sinner completely missed a forehand volley.
A few minutes later, Djokovic concluded with a shutout on his serve.
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