Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic hits from two goals to reach the 11th semi-final
Defending champion Novak Djokovic fought back from two sets to beat Jannik Sinner and reach his 11th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday. Djokovic won 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and will face England’s Cameron Norrie or Belgium’s David Goffin for a spot in Sunday’s final. It was the seventh time in Serb’s career he recovered from two sets to fall in love at the Slam. “Congratulations to Jannik on a big fight, he’s too mature for his age, he’s got a lot of time ahead of him,” said Djokovic.
“The first two sets versus the next three is like two different matches. He was the better player in those first two sets.
“But at the end of the second set, I took a break on the toilet, talked to myself a little bit, tried to gather my thoughts.
“I broke early in the third set. I saw a bit of doubt start to appear in his movement. I have years of experience playing on these courts and dealing with pressure.”
Djokovic is bidding to match Pete Sampras as seven-time Wimbledon champion and just one point behind Roger Federer’s record of eight.
He appeared in a routine afternoon, taking a 4-1 lead in the opener and breaking point 5-1 against the 20-year-old Italian.
Sinner, the 10th seed, saved it and recovered to take a 6-5 lead, finding a serve for the set.
Djokovic saved a set point but a return serve gave the Italian the opening goal.
Sinner, relentlessly churning out winners from all corners of the field, stunned the top seed again with breaks in the third and seventh games en route to a two-set lead.
However, Djokovic is no stranger to Grand Slam adversity, having made two comebacks after two recent setbacks like last year’s French Open.
The second of those incredible recoveries was in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
A break in the fourth game of the third set helped Djokovic cut his deficit in the quarterfinals.
In control, the 35-year-old equalized with a double break in the fourth set when Sinner had a disturbing somersault on his ankle trying to touch the Center Court net.
Djokovic scored two more breaks in the decisive set, the second from a stunning cross-court backhand on the court to take a 5-2 lead before calmly serving.
Maria wins all-Germany clash to reach semi-finals
Germany’s Tatjana Maria came in from behind to beat compatriot Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Tuesday and reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. The 34-year-old mother-of-two will face third-seeded Ons Jabeur or underrated Marie Bouzkova for a place in the final. “I got goosebumps everywhere,” says Maria, who returned from maternity leave less than a year ago. “My two little girls, it’s been a dream to live with my family, to live with my two daughters. It’s been almost a year since I gave birth, it’s crazy.”
She said she wanted to face world number two Jabeur in the semi-finals.
“It would be really fun to play her,” she said. “She’s part of my family, she loves my kids, she’s playing with them every day.”
In just his third all-German Grand Slam quarter-final in the Open Era, Niemeier took control from the start, broke his first chance and went on to win the set.
The 22-year-old then broke again early in the second set to get an iron in the match but Maria jumped back up, breaking three times to level the match.
World No. 97 Niemeier once again stopped bleeding for the first time in the decisive set, breaking serve in the fifth game and holding serve to lead 4-2.
But Maria scored the equalizer 4-4 and broke again in the 12th game to mark the victory.
The German veteran, who saved two points in the previous round, made his Grand Slam debut in 2007 and has never made it past the third round at a major before Wimbledon this year.
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