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Wimbledon: Djokovic into ninth semifinal as Federer, Nadal eye match-up

The Week 2019-07-10 00:00:00
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match against Belgium's David Goffin at Wimbledon 2019 | Reuters

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semifinals 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 semifinals of the majors for the 36th time.

Next up is either Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut or Guido Pella of Argentina for a place in Sunday's final.

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

The 28-year-old broke for a 4-3 lead but 16-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. 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 at the All England Club since 2008 when Nadal triumphed in what is widely regarded as the greatest final ever played at the tournament.

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 quarterfinalist 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 quarterfinal.

Nishikori, playing in his second successive Wimbledon quarterfinal, defeated the great Swiss 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 semifinals.

Nadal, playing in his seventh Wimbledon quarterfinal, 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 semifinals since Marat Safin and Rainer Schuettler both made it in 2008.