Djokovic to face Del Potro in Wimbledon semis
London, July 4 (IANS) Top seed tennis player Novak Djokovic took a huge leap towards capturing the men’s title at Wimbledon as he defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3 to earn a men’s singles semi-final place against Juan Martin Del Potro here Wednesday.
Del Potro beat the No.4 seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(5) to book his maiden Wimbledon semi-final berth.
Djokovic served so well that he conceded just eight points in five games and never permitted Berdych a sniff at a break.
“It was a very close match, and that was what I expected. One shot decided the winner of the first set and that was an important advantage for me. I don’t know how I managed to turn the second set around, but it was a confidence boost for me to go two sets up,” Djokovic said.
The Serbian’s first service game, replete with three aces, was enough to dismay most people but Berdych took it in his stride and regularly peppered the world No.1 with deliveries well in excess of 120 miles an hour.
Berdych was clearly dismayed by the vigour of the Djokovic counter-attack in which Djokovic won four games at a cost of five points and the No.1 seed moved into a two-set lead by breaking the Czech for a third time.
Now he was in full control and another break of the Czech’s serve sent him 3-1 up in the third set as Berdych, unravelling at a rapid rate of knots, double-faulted twice.
So Djokovic ended up coasting home, upping his ace count along the way to 16 and reaching match point with a sumptuous forehand down the line, at which a stunned Berdych shovelled a close-range shot into the netting.
“I could see he was frustrated in the third set so I capitalised when I needed to and he missed a few easy shots.” Now I feel physically fresh for the semi-final,” he said.
Meanwhile, battling a doggy knee, Del Potro, the No.8 seed, fought valiantly against the ever consistent Ferrer. With two break points on Ferrer’s serve at 15-40, Del Potro injured his heavily strapped knee with a nasty-looking fall, for which he required lengthy treatment.
Del Porto stormed his way to the first two sets but the third set was a tighter affair and it went to a tie-break. Del Potro hit a stunning cross-court running forehand to set up match point at 6-5 and then hit a stunning forehand down the line after a lengthy rally.
In joy, Del Potro collapsed to the ground.
“I was worried because it was the same movements like four days ago,” he said. “The doctor says they can’t do any more with my knee. I had the tape, a very tight tape, and that helped me to move a little bit, but nothing more.
“I didn’t want to retire in the quarters for the first time at Wimbledon against Ferrer. And that’s the reason for continuing play. The doctors give me good anti-inflammatories. I survived my serve in the beginning of the match. I broke his serve early, and that give me confidence to take advantage in the beginning of the match.
“Then I played (with) confidence, was careful all the time with my movements. But in the end I gave my 100 percent and I’m so glad to go through,” he said.
Against world No.1 Djokovic, Del Porto feels he has to be at his best. Del Potro had beaten the Serb in the bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympics here at the All England Club and also won their most recent encounter in Indian Wells in March.
“I will need to be 100 percent or 110 percent against him,” said Del Potro.
“He’s the No.1. He’s a former champion here. It’s going to be a more difficult match for me like today. But if I’m okay, if I do everything good to be ready for my next match, I will be excited to play against him.
“I remember the match during the Olympics last year on the same surface. But this time the pressure is different, I know. But I will try to be ready and do my best.”