Novak Djokovic reaches Wimbledon last four for 11th time after comeback win
Novak Djokovic had to battle back from two sets down to reach the Wimbledon semi-final and preserve his remarkable Centre Court record.
The defending champion, bidding for a fourth consecutive title, looked on the brink of a sensational defeat when Italian youngster Jannik Sinner led 2-0.
But for the seventh time in his career, 20-time grand slam winner Djokovic overturned a two-set deficit to win 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2022
Amazingly, it means Djokovic has still not lost a match on Centre Court in nine years – since Andy Murray beat him in the 2013 final.
His only two defeats since, to Sam Querrey in 2016 and a retirement against Tomas Berdych a year later, came on Court One.
But he needed the patience of a saint to beat world number 13 Sinner, a talented 20-year-old with a huge future in the game.
There was no hint of the drama to come when Djokovic raced into a 3-0 lead but a sloppy service game with two double faults, including one on break point, allowed Sinner – who had never won a tour-level match on grass before these Championships – to draw level.
The Serbian saved a break point in his next service game but Sinner struck again for 6-5 with a whipped forehand winner and served out the opening set.
As Djokovic floated a backhand long Sinner took the second set having won 100 per cent of the points behind his fizzing first serve.
But just as he looked on the cusp of unravelling, the top seed rediscovered his range and hit back in the third.
Sinner did not require a medical time-out but he needed to shorten the points – however when an ambitious drop shot floated into the net Djokovic had the break in the decider and the 10th seed’s race was run.
A relieved Djokovic said: “Huge congratulations for a big fight for Jannik, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage.
“He was the better player for the first two sets, but I had a toilet break and a pep talk in the mirror – it’s true – sometimes these things are necessary. The toilet break was the turning point
“I go through the same doubtful moments as anyone else. The inner fight is the biggest fight you go through. I always believed I could turn the match around, I’ve done it a few times in grand slams. I’m just glad I’m through.
“This court has inspired me, every time I step on it the love affair keeps going and hopefully I can maintain that run.”
Dan Evans battles bravely but Pablo Carreno Busta sets Hubert Hurkacz showdown
The British number two was eventually outlasted 7-5 6-7 6-2 across two hours and 58 minutes.
Andy Murray gets Cinccinati boost, but handed tricky opener against old foe with Cameron Norrie also lurking
Andy Murray handed tough assignment in Cincinnati.
Dan Evans vs Pablo Carreno Busta: How to watch Montreal semis as Evans looks to sneak into ATP top 20
A quick lowdown on the Canadian Masters semi-final and possible ATP Ranking changes.
Rafael Nadal ‘happy to be in Cincy’ as he finds out his path to possible glory at ATP Masters 1000 event
Rafael Nadal good to go in Cincinnati.
Nick Kyrgios ‘doesn’t care’ about records as he admits parents’ illness and fatigue are weighing him down
Nick Kyrgios not concerned about his winning streak coming to an end as he is more worried about his parents.
ATP Cincy draw: Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios could meet again, Dan Evans in line to face Stefanos Tsitsipas
This way for the draw of the 2022 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Simona Halep ‘stays strong mentally’ to hold off ‘super nice and future Grand Slam champion’ Coco Gauff
Simona Halep overcomes edgy second set to beat Coco Gauff.
WTA Cincinnati draw: Emma Raducanu to face Serena Williams in dream opening match
The Cincy draw has dished up a big one: Emma Raducanu vs Serena Williams
Dan Evans continues his dream run to reach Montreal semi-final
He will face Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spaniard defeated British qualifier Jack Draper in straight sets.
ATP Rankings: Casper Ruud threatens career-best ranking
Casper Ruud is on the brink of a career-best ranking.