Different Djokovic books his place in the final four

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the fourth round match against Russia's Karen Khachanov. Andrew Boyers Reuters

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the fourth round match against Russia's Karen Khachanov. Andrew Boyers Reuters

There, he will face world No 1 Rafael Nadal after he overcame an exhaustive five-set clash with Juan Martin del Potro to reach his first Wimbledon semi in seven years.

It was not as if Nadal was playing badly as he had lost only nine points on serve before heading into the ninth game of the second set.

Del Potro, who made more than 20 unforced errors in the set, made hard work of winning the tiebreak, clinching it 7-5 on the seventh set point when Simon put a return high and wide and the Argentine roared in celebration.

A year after his 2017 fourth round match was postponed by 24 hours into what is a designated "rest day" for the men, he narrowly avoided suffering the same fate again. Djokovic broke Nishikori's serve seven times, and finished with six aces. But Federer went toe to toe with his buoyant opponent in an epic fifth-set tussle until with the score 11-11 Anderson pounced.

As Djokovic battled to find a way to victory, there then came a key moment.

Kei Nishikori bowed out of Wimbledon on Wednesday after losing to Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion then raised his level in the fourth set and finished with a victor into the corner to book his place in Friday's semi-finals where he was joined by a familiar foe as Nadal won through late in the day. The 12-time major victor prevailed despite picking up two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of "double standards".

'I thought it was unnecessary to get the warning, ' he told the BBC after the 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 win. "I didn't harm the grass", he said. His troublesome elbow needed attention at the start of the third set, but even as Djokovic looked like he was on the verge he continued to push and prod him around the court. (Ramos) said he didn't see it. "In the midst of emotions in a tough match, it happens". "It feels great to be in the last four", Djokovic said, via Wimbledon's Twitter account.

"I have been building on my game and working on the level of tennis that I have been playing in the last few months".

It was on Djokovic's serve and 0-40 down, he slowed things up, taking on average 29 seconds to serve, and saved all three break points before closing out the game. "Do you think I ruined the court?" he bellowed at Ramos.

Eight-time champion Federer has already won more Wimbledon singles titles than any other man, but was aiming to equal Martina Navratilova's all-time record.

Djokovic was able to regain his composure, though, and managed to win by four sets to one.

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