Novak Djokovic can match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. He qualified on Tuesday, July 11, for his twelfth Wimbledon semi-final by dismissing Russian Andrey Rublev (7e world) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. “I played well, I have the good energy and I hope to win again on Friday”declared with great serenity the 36-year-old Serb, who will face the Italian Jannik Sinner (8e) for a place in the final of the tournament which he is playing for the eighteenth time.
“Djoko” also has his sights set on the record of eight titles on the London turf, held by Roger Federer for men, one length from the absolute record of Martina Navratilova (9).
So for his 71e Grand Slam tournament, he is the player to beat again and again. ” I love that ! Any player wants to be the one everyone else wants to beat”he said. “The pressure is always immense, especially here at Wimbledon, but it motivates me and makes me play my best tennis. They all want my scalp, but they won’t get it! »he launched before adding, laughing: “That was humility! »
In terms of records, he is also aiming for a fifth title in a row at Wimbledon to equal the series of Federer (2003-2007) and Björn Borg (1976-1980). He has also reached his 46e Grand Slam semi-final, equaling Federer’s men’s record.
He played his 400 on Tuesdaye Grand Slam match after playing his 100e at Wimbledon in the previous round. Only Roger Federer (429) and Serena Williams (419) have played more matches in major tournaments.
On Tuesday, Rublev who had been completely helpless on the hard of the Australian Open in January, already in the quarter-finals, offered a totally different game on the London grass, where he even led a set to zero.
As proof of this resistance, in addition to the dirt staining the Russian’s T-shirt, Djokovic had to defend eight break points (one lost), but he converted seven out of twelve on Rublev’s service. “There were huge exchanges. Sometimes, between the speed of his ball and his roars, he is scary”commented Djokovic about his opponent of the day and the famous “bweh” that he releases on his strikes.
After losing this first set by giving up his serve at the end of the set, Djokovic took things in hand. Clearly, first, by succeeding two breaks to equalize at one set everywhere. More difficult in the third set where, after having made the break to lead 3-2, he served at 5-4 but only concluded on his fifth set point after having himself saved three break points.
The Djoker took control of the fourth set by breaking to lead 2-1 and, this time, his domination was total since he did not have to defend a single break point in the set and he pushed Rublev into a desperate final dive on match point.