Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wimbledon: Dominant Djokovic breezes into final with win over Sinner

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic dismissed the big-hitting threat of Jannik Sinner to reach his fifth consecutive Wimbledon final, here on Friday.

Djokovic delivered a typically classy all-around semi-final performance to prevail 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) against the Italian and notch his 34th straight match win at the grass-court major.

His clean, deep returning was a constant menace to the Sinner serve and Djokovic was rock-solid under pressure as he saved all six break points he faced in his two-hour, 46-minute triumph.

“In the semi-finals, it was always going to be a very tense, very close match.Three very close sets, I think the scoreline maybe doesn’t give the reality of what was happening on the court. It was super close,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview.

“The third set could have gone his way. He had 5-4, 15/40 and a couple of second serves. He missed a few shots and allowed me to get into the tie-break. It was just a lot of pressure in the third, especially. I had chances early on, but he proved why he is one of the leaders of the next generation and one of the best players in the world that we have, no doubt. It’s great to be part of this new generation. I love it,” he added.

Djokovic will face Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final at SW19, where he is bidding to tie Roger Federer’s record by lifting an eighth Wimbledon crown.

Should top seed Alcaraz be his opponent, it would also represent a straight one-on-one shootout for the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings.

The 36-year-old Djokovic has now won 27 consecutive matches at major tournaments and remains on course for a historic Calendar-Year Grand Slam after his triumphs at the Australian Open and Roland Garros earlier in the year. He is just the third player in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach the Wimbledon men’s singles final aged 36 or older, after his great rival Federer and Ken Rosewall.

“I’d like to believe that [I am playing some of my best tennis ever]. We play an individual sport, so you have to rely on yourself and try to put yourself in the best possible state, physically, mentally and emotionally, before going out on the court,” said Djokovic.

“I try not to look at age as a hindrance or a factor that might decide the outcome on the court. To the contrary, actually, I feel 36 is the new 26, I guess. It feels good,” he added.

By reaching his 35th championship match at a Grand Slam event, Djokovic claimed sole ownership of the record for reaching the most major finals, ahead of former WTA star Chris Evert (34).



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