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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Djokovic reaches eighth Wimbledon final; Kyrgios will face

Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — The loss was less difficult for Novak Djokovic. The tension is less noticeable. Not that he wants to lag behind in matches. When he does, he knows how to deal with it.

“It’s amazing how the whole game can break down, really, just because you feel like you’re tense. Then none of the shots are really working properly. Your legs are steady and slow,” Djokovic Said. “Something happens in a match, then all of a sudden it’s completely different and you’re flying. everything flows.”

Top seed Djokovic made a comeback for the second time in a row at Wimbledon on Friday to beat Britain’s ninth-ranked Cam Norie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-finals. The All England Club has played 27 matches in a row as it chases a fourth straight championship on its grass courts.

“The more you experience situations like this, the better you don’t feel, but the more prepared you feel. You know what to expect,” Djokovic said. “It really is always yours. It’s about handling your own nerves better than maybe your opponent’s. This internal battle is always the biggest.”

He will face first-time major finalist Nick Kyrgios for the trophy on Sunday.

“The work,” said Djokovic, “is not over.”

A combustible 27-year-old unseeded Kyrgios from Australia just to mention his name during Djokovic’s on-court interview was not required to play Friday as 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal withdrew with a torn Gone were the abdominal muscles.

“Mouth-watering”, is how Kyrgios described the upcoming matchup.

He has won both previous meetings against Djokovic, although both were on the hard court five years ago.

Djokovic said, ‘One thing is for sure. “Emotionally, there’s going to be a lot of fireworks from both.”

It will be Djokovic’s 32nd Grand Slam title match, breaking a tie for the men’s record shared with Roger Federer to lift the 35-year-old from Serbia to a 21st major title and seventh at Wimbledon. Only Federer, with eight, owns more in grass-court tournaments among men.

On the hottest afternoon of the fortnight, with temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) and the wind stable, Djokovic often looked quickly displeased, pointing to his guest box. But unlike in the quarterfinals, when he lost the opening two sets against Janik Sinar and won five, it took Djokovic little time to establish his dominance.

Exactly what allows Djokovic to leave behind, then win – he has seven career comebacks from two-set holes, including the 2021 French Open final – is hard to know. He claimed that talking in the bathroom helped against the sinner. He joked that wearing a white hat after the first set made a difference against Norrie.

When asked at Friday’s press conference to explain the white bottle he appeared to be breathing during another match, Djokovic gave this tongue-in-cheek answer: “The magic potion.”

“You’ll find out soon enough,” he said, “but I can’t speak about it right now.”

Djokovic vs Nori started quite well for locals, who were hoping to see one of their own in the men’s final, something only two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray made for Britain since the professional era began in 1968. have achieved.

The roar came when the left-hander Nori got up before his seat; Djokovic was pouring some water on his hand and rubbing it into his hair. When Nori’s volley winner completed a break in that opening game, he jumped up and threw an uppercut. Union Jack flags were waved in the stands.

Won the championship? No, earned a berth in the final? do not even. Overall, it was quite a celebration after one in 35 games, five points from 202, four from 154 minutes.

When Djokovic broke back, he walked to grab his white towel and pat his sweat. It was not a big achievement for him.

A small example of how versatile and brilliant Djokovic is, a particularly wonderful point to come across. He hit a spinning half-volley on the go, but Norrie responded with a lob. So Djokovic ran back to the baseline, netting behind him, and in a mid-way, facing the wrong way, added a high-arching lob of his own that somehow landed. Norrie ran at him, swung him to the body to answer with a forehand, and Djokovic ended a 14-stroke exchange with the drop volley winner.

Even the parties cheered with approval. Djokovic raised his right index finger to the sky.

Even so, only two of Nori’s first 20 points came through winners he produced. Djokovic made 12 unexpected mistakes in the first set itself. A measure of how he restored order: Djokovic made a combined 16 unforced errors in the last three sets.

Nori, never a major before the third round, became less sharp as Djokovic mounted the pressure – within points and on the scoreboard. A particularly sloppy serve game by Nori, coupled with a trio of unforced errors, helped Djokovic lead 5-3 in the second set.

“He gave me that gift,” said Djokovic, who would play 11 of 13 games in a match-shifting stretch.

He broke three times in the first set, never facing a break point again.

Perhaps feeling that their boy might get a boost, some fans chanted “Let’s go, Nori, let’s go!” offered mantras. At the start of the third set. A thing didn’t change.

Djokovic did the third opening. He did the same in the fourth.

“Just take it off,” Norrie said.

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More Associated Press Wimbledon coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/wimbledon and https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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