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“I managed to dismantle his game”, Djokovic in ominous form as he tears through Goffin to charge into Wimbledon semis

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 11 Jul 2019
  • Novak Djokovic was in supreme form as he defeated David Goffin in straight sets to move into the Wimbledon semi-finals
  • Djokovic will face Roberto Bautista-Agut in the last four
Novak Djokovic. (BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE)

Novak Djokovic was in early trouble in his Wimbledon quarter final against David Goffin, but the world No. 1 suddenly found a few extra gears to race past the Belgian, and advance to the Wimbledon semi-finals for the ninth time in his career.

The world No.  1 won 15 of the last 17 games to charge into the last four with a 6-4 6-0 6-2 victory, setting up a meeting with first-time major semi-finalist, Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Djokovic entered Wednesday’s quarter final with a 5-1 lead in his head-to-head against Goffin, but the Belgian won their most recent meeting in Monte Carlo in 2017, and had been playing well on grass this season, reaching the Halle final, and making the Wimbledon quarters for the first time in his career.

There was a good chance that he could make things difficult for Djokovic, and he did just that in the first seven games of the contest, striking the ball cleanly, and matching Djokovic from the back of the court. Goffin scored the first break of the match to take a 4-3 lead, and had 30-0 in the next game as he attempted to consolidate, but a double fault pegged him back to 30-30, and the former world No. 7 went downhill from there.

Djokovic sensed his moment, and broke right back with a forehand volley, and from there, he took it to another level. The Serbia won ten games in a row to open up a 6-4 6-0 1-0 lead, and while Goffin held in his first service game of the third set, there was an inevitability about the final outcome, and the Serbian powered through five of the last six games to complete a dominant victory in just under two hours.

"I've been playing [my] best tennis in this tournament in the past two rounds, the fourth round and today, especially today [in the] second set and third set against Goffin, who was in-form. I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and always find the right shots. Very pleased with the performance," Djokovic said. "This match could have gone [a] different way. I was a break down. He was the better player for most of the first set. But I managed to turn things around."

This was another Djokovic special- as the Serbian once again suffocated an opponent with relentless precision hitting and unyielding defence. The world No. 1 won 76% of points on his first serve, striking 24 winners and 17 unforced errors. He also ventured to the forecourt quite often, winning 19 of 27 points at the net.

Goffin did not help himself by making a paltry 45% of first serves against the best returner in the world, and his second serve duly got the treatment, as he won just 16 of 42 points off that delivery.

"I was playing well. I had the break. Then he played well… The game was 30/0. Maybe the double fault, that's the only point I maybe should have done better. It was really high level”, Goffin said. “It was tough to stay with him”. 
"You have to play the perfect point to win it against him… Even if you play well, it's not enough because he continues to play deep, deep, close from the line, left, right. Amazing backhand down the line, as well. He was everywhere."

Djokovic improves to 32-6 for the season, while the victory over Goffin took the world No. 1 to 70 match wins at Wimbledon. He joins Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker as the only men to have reached that milestone in the Open Era. 

The 32-year-old has now won 31 of his last 32 Grand Slam matches- the only loss in that amazing spell coming against Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the French Open.

Djokovic has dropped just one set in his Wimbledon campaign so far- against Hubert Hurkacz in the second round- while he’s also beaten Philipp Kohlschreiber, Denis Kudla and Ugo Humbert. The draw has definitely opened up for him- not that he needed it- with potential threats Stefanos Tsitsipas, Milos Raonic, Alexander Zverev among those to depart before projected meetings with the defending champion. 

His next opponent, Roberto Bautista-Agut, at No. 22 in the world, will be the highest-ranked player he’s faced at the tournament before a possible meeting with Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the final.

Bautista-Agut may be into the last four of a major for the first time in his career, but Djokovic knows better than to underrate the Spaniard, who already has two wins over the world No. 1 this year.

"He's been definitely playing some very, very high-quality tennis in this tournament. He has won twice against me so far this year. That's certainly going to give him confidence coming into the match", Djokovic said of his next opponent.

Novak Djokovic vs Roberto Bautista-Agut is live from Wimbledon on Friday, 12 July.


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“I managed to dismantle his game”, Djokovic in ominous form as he tears through Goffin to charge into Wimbledon semis

Novak Djokovic was in supreme form as he defeated David Goffin in straight sets to move into the Wimbledon semi-finals.

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