Wimbledon: On Tuesday, Novak Djokovic overcame Andrey Rublev in four sets to go to the Wimbledon semi-finals at the All England Club.
Djokovic was energised after losing the first set, and he finished with a fiery last game in the third set to grab a lead and eventually secure a 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 triumph.
The third set itself was a struggle of will, power, and talent, with Djokovic finally holding his serve to take the lead in the match for the first time.
Rublev almost offended the legendary champion by taking the opening set from him. He lured Djokovic into a rally in the ninth game and hammered a hard forehand past him. He then coolly served the rest of the opening set.
Djokovic had fallen down in the match, but he responded with a merciless performance in the next set.
With an exasperated grunt, Rublev mishandled two breakpoints early on, allowing Djokovic to break his opening serve game of the second set. The Serb broke him again to go up 4-0, and despite Rublev clawing a point back, Djokovic easily claimed the second set.
Rublev was far more competitive in the following set. In the second game, he threatened the seven-time Wimbledon winner, but Djokovic escaped unscathed.
Djokovic forced Rublev into long rallies in the fifth game, pushing him into errors to go up a break and then hold his serve.
But when it came to serving for the set, Djokovic ran into a brick wall. The Centre Court audience erupted as Rublev contorted himself around a bouncing ball and sent it over the net past the Serb.
When Rublev launched a return down the court, Djokovic saved a break point and put his finger to his ear, eliciting another loud response from the fans.
Still, in the third game, Djokovic raced down a ball that dropped short, only to turn it wide and give Rublev another breakpoint.
He was unable to convert and was unable to field a drop shot. I detect an edge. Djokovic yelled at the fans to get them even more excited.
The ball bounced off high off Rublev’s racquet to finish the turbulent exchanges in this game. It flew in the air, with Djokovic and the audience watching. He didn’t do it. It bounced, and there was a quiet moment until the cry ‘out’ was barked.
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