Thu, 19 Sep 2019

London - Four-time champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the ninth time on Wednesday, racking up his 70th career win at the All England Club in the process.

The top seed and world number one hit back from a break down in the first set to carve out a commanding 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 win over 21st seed David Goffin of Belgium.

In a ruthless display, the defending champion reeled off 15 of the last 17 games to secure a place in the semi-finals of the majors for the 36th time.

Next up is Spanish 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who made his first Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Argentina's Guido Pella.

"He started well and was dictating play from the baseline," 32-year-old Djokovic said of Goffin.

"Things could have gone a different way if I had lost the first set but I was very pleased with the second and third.

He added: "I had a tough match in the third round (against Hubert Hurkacz). Other than that, I've won in straight sets and played really well throughout the tournament.

"It's exactly what I wanted and hopefully I can go in the right direction in the semis as well."

Goffin was on top in the early stages as he sensed the opportunity to become the first Belgian man to make the semi-finals at a Slam since Xavier Malisse at Wimbledon in 2002.

The 28-year-old broke for a 4-3 lead but 15-time Slam winner Djokovic then reeled off the next nine games, taking the first set, and the second in which he allowed the Belgian just four points on his serve.

The contest was over by the time Djokovic broke for a 3-1 lead in the third set.

Bautista Agut, 31, booked his first appearance in a Slam last-four at the 27th attempt by seeing off Pella, who had never previously reached a quarter-final at the majors.

"Novak is the number one in the world and he's playing really well on grass," said Bautista Agut, who has a 3-7 record against the Serb.

However, two of those wins came this year in Doha and Miami.

Roger Federer can rack up his 100th win at Wimbledon later Wednesday and set-up a blockbuster semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

If it does happen, it will be their first match at the All England Club since 2008 when Nadal triumphed in what is widely regarded as the greatest-ever Wimbledon final.

However, before they reach that stage, eight-time champion Federer has to get past Kei Nishikori while Nadal, a two-time winner, tackles big-hitting Sam Querrey.

At 37, Federer is the oldest quarter-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

He reached his 17th quarter-final at the All England Club -- and 55th at the majors -- with a 74-minute demolition of Italy's Matteo Berrettini, dropping just five games.

Federer will take a 7-3 record over seventh-seeded Nishikori into his quarter-final.

Nishikori, playing in his second successive Wimbledon quarter-final, defeated the Swiss great in the ATP Finals last year, ending a drought which had stretched to almost five years.

He is bidding to become the first Japanese man since Jiro Satoh in 1933 to make the semi-finals.

Nadal, playing in his seventh Wimbledon quarter-final, faces Querrey backed up by a 4-1 record over the 65th-ranked American.

Querrey made the semi-finals in 2017, beating then world number one Andy Murray in the last-eight before falling to Marin Cilic.

The American has pounded down 100 aces so far at the tournament, dropped serve just once and accounted for fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the first round.

"When he plays well, he can be very, very dangerous on all surfaces," said Nadal, whose recent 12th French Open title took him to 18 majors, just two back from Federer's record.

Querrey hopes to be the first unseeded player in the semi-finals since Marat Safin and Rainer Schuettler both made it in 2008.

Meanwhile, two-time champion Andy Murray's Wimbledon ended when he and Serena Williams were knocked out of the mixed doubles, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar who progress to the quarter-finals.

Wimbledon results on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):

Men

Quarter finals

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt David Goffin (BEL x21) 6-4, 6-0, 6-2

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x23) bt Guido Pella (ARG x26) 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 7-5, 6-2, 6-2

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

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