Tennis: Novak Djokovic will rule over Wimbledon’s young contenders, sports news


Novak Djokovic can reach a seventh Wimbledon final on Friday, driven by a desire to take a sixth title at the All England Club and the record-breaking 20th Grand Slam title.

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World number one will be the overwhelming favorite to beat semi-final opponent Denis Shapovalov, the Canadian player he has already beaten six out of six.

A win for the Serbs would send him into a championship game on Sunday against either Italian Matteo Berrettini or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the man who brought down eight-time winner Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic is contesting his 10th Wimbledon semi-finals and 41st place in the majors, while his progress at the event has comfortably propelled his career gains above $ 150 million.

None of the other three contenders ever got that far in the tournament.

Only Berrettini has tasted the experience of a semifinal at the Grand Slams at the 2019 US Open.

Aside from dropping the first set of his opener against British wildcard Jack Draper, Djokovic was unconcerned.

“I feel like I’ve played, hit the ball well throughout the tournament and put myself exactly where I want to be: the semi-finals,” said 34-year-old Djokovic, who will have his 30th slam final on Friday can reach.

“Don’t waste too much energy. Now I have to be really consistent in the next game from the first to the last point, and hopefully one more on Sunday.”

Djokovic only lost his serve four times at this year’s Wimbledon and only had 15 breakpoints.

The win on Friday not only brings him one step closer to a sixth Wimbledon title, but also becomes only the third man in history to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

It’s an accomplishment so rare that it hasn’t been achieved since Rod Laver swept all four majors for the second time in the same year in 1969.

“Sometimes things look surreal to me, but I try to live in the moment and take every opportunity I have on the pitch,” said Djokovic.

Shapovalov, the stylish left-hander, made his first slam semi-final by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and eighth seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, a 2019 semi-finalist.

In the quarter-finals, the 22-year-old had to mix style and steel to defeat Russian Karen Khachanov in five sets.

On Friday he has to push his service game, which has driven 60 aces so far, to the maximum.

Before that year, Shapovalov had only won one match at Wimbledon, while his best Grand Slam performance last year was a run into the quarter-finals of the US Open.

“Novak is the best player in the world but I think anything is possible,” said Shapovalov, who won just two sets against the Serb in his six defeats.

Berrettini is the first Italian in the Wimbledon semifinals since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960.

Adriano Panatta remains his country’s last male champion in a slam at the 1976 French Open.

However, Berrettini made a game made for grass and came to Wimbledon with the prestigious Queen’s Club title.

The 25-year-old number nine in the world is only playing her third Wimbledon, but stormed into the semifinals with 79 aces leading the tournament and saved 20 of 25 breakpoints.

“I’m a better player now. I have more experience. I’ve had more games on my shoulders. Everything I achieve is great, but it’s nothing I didn’t expect,” said the stocky Italian.

After Jerzy Janowicz in 2013, Hurkacz is only the second Pole to finish in the last four at Wimbledon.

The 24-year-old’s run to the semifinals is impressive, having only won one match on tour between his surprising Miami Masters title in March and his start at Wimbledon.

This sad streak included the defeat in the first round of the French Open against number 154 in the world, Botic Van de Zandschulp, and the first defeats at the grass events in Stuttgart and Halle.

The defeat in Stuttgart was particularly painful because it came from Dominic Stricker, who was 335th at the time.

However, his win on Wednesday went against a far more famous Swiss, eight-time champion Federer.

“When I left the pitch and realized that I had won against Roger, a dream had come true, especially here on the grass at Wimbledon,” said the world number 18, who had never made it past the third round of a slam before Wimbledon was.