Novak Djokovic sends Rafael Nadal warning ahead of Wimbledon semi-final clash

Milos Raonic

A FUMING Novak Djokovic accused the chair umpire of "double standards" before advancing to his first Wimbledon semi-final in three years with a four-set dispatch of Kei Nishikori.

He then failed to convert three crucial break opportunities on Djokovic's serve at 2-2 in the third set, giving away the game and then his next two serves to hand the Serb his second set.

"After surgery I didn't think it was going to take me so much time to really get on the desired level". It will be Djokovic's first semi-final at a major since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.

The Serbian has rediscovered his mojo at SW19 and has looked more alike the former world No 1 who once held all four Grand Slam titles at one time in 2016.

"I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don't know where the hell I was moving to". It's not the first time I've been in semi-finals, I've been here before but I'll try to enjoy this victory'.

"Post-match I heard that the organisers were planning to cancel my match if Monfils and Anderson went to a fifth".

Nishikori, playing in his first quarter-final at the All England Club, was bidding to become the first Japanese man to make the Wimbledon semi-finals in 85 years. It was a step up in momentum that Nishikori momentarily halted with a break at the start of the fourth, but Djokovic then returned the favour and closed out the match.

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And he did not disappoint with a battling performance reminiscent of days gone by, even if he did fall out with umpire Carlos Ramos.

But having got his foothold in the second set, Djokovic's nous and show-court experience shone through, making it 13 wins on the bounce for the Serb against Nishikori.

"I want to use today's result as a spring from which to aim for a final place". "I hope I can get a chance to fight for a trophy", he said.

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they chased after blinding winners.

"It gives me confidence that I was able to play good tennis on grass", Nishikori said.

With Kevin Anderson taking nearly three and a half hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in the previous match, Djokovic knew he had about two hours of daylight left if he wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday's rest day to finish off the contest.

But Djokovic appears to be building towards somewhere near his best again and, while made to work hard by Nishikori, he was good value for a 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 triumph.

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