Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission

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

Djokovic, 31, will be playing in his 32nd Slam semi-final where he will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.

Now ranked only 21st in the world, with his career stalling since his 12th Grand Slam title at the 2016 French Open, last year's Wimbledon saw him retire in the quarter-finals with a season-ending elbow injury.

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Khachanov overcame more misfortune as he held to level the third set at 2-2 despite Djokovic twice receiving the help of a net cord, but he could not survive more pressure two games later, scooping a backhand long to put his opponent on the brink.

'I thought it was unnecessary to get the warning, ' he said.

This is his best run at Wimbledon since that 2015 success as he lost in the third round in 2016, and then retired hurt in the quarter-finals against Tomas Berdych 12 months ago.

"I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now", Djokovic said. Djokovic broke Nishikori's serve seven times, and finished with six aces.

With Kevin Anderson taking nearly 3-1/2 hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in the previous match, Djokovic knew he had about two hours of daylight left if he wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday's rest day to finish off the contest.

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"You think I ruined the court for just throwing my racket (down)?"

Djokovic secured that game with a forehand victor, then saved two game points on Nishikori's serve before converting his first match point with a forehand down the line.

For the only the second time at Wimbledon, Federer was beaten after holding a two-set lead, with his previous loss from that position coming against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 quarterfinals.

First of all, Federer was 4-0 against Anderson, winning every set. Like Djokovic, Nishikori does things on his own terms - he walks between points, scuffing his feet, and on receiving balls ahead of serve, if the distribution was slightly off he would not take a step left nor right to collect it.

"Also psychologically obviously, I was so fortunate to have so much success on the tour over the course of 10-plus years".

Scheduled last on No. 1 Court, Djokovic and Khachanov did not get underway until after 19:00 local time at the All England Club on Monday.

"I have worked very hard to try and get myself in the best possible shape for the biggest event and this is certainly one of the best". I don't want to stop here. "But hopefully I have two more matches to play".

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