Nishikori predicts Wimbledon 'war' with Djokovic

Virginia Santiago
July 14, 2018

The three-time champion swept past Kei Nishikori with a ruthless, and sometimes fiery, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

But having become the first Japanese man to reach the quarter-finals since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995, Nishikori must now overturn a 13-2 career losing record against three-time champion Djokovic on Wednesday. But then the Japanese player, world number four in March a year ago, survived those four break points early in the second set to level. However, he prevented further damage when he held from 0-40 at 2-2 in the third set, and the hold would prove significant as he responded well to break Nishikori twice in succession. "The last couple of games I couldn't really see the ball very clearly, it was getting very I had to hang in there".

Anger and cutting a disconsolate figure has been a running theme for Djokovic at Wimbledon this year.

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The fifth game of the third set was nearly a mirror of the third game of the second - which Nishikori had held despite three break points. "I knew how I threw the racket", Djokovic later explained.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro met stubborn resistance from Frenchman Gilles Simon and had to settle for a suspension of their Wimbledon fourth round match as he led 7-6 (1) 7-6 (5) 5-7 after more than three hours on Court Two on Monday.

However, his fantastic run to the Wimbledon last four has gone a long way to quashing those fears and now he looks set to return to the top of the game. "His consistency, the way he plays such great tennis week in and week out", said Anderson. "I guess there are other factors that play in".

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Centre Court was only a third full on Saturday when droves of fans left the arena to watch England's victory over Sweden . The former champion and world number one had to bow out of Wimbledon due to an ongoing hip injury.

With a 10th appearance in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Djokovic moves into a tie with Andy Murray behind Roger Federer (16), Jimmy Connors (14) and Boris Becker (11). President Vucic meanwhile explained that "I backed Russian Federation as that is my right".

If Anderson is to shock Federer, who has only lost once before the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 15 years, he will need to call up the heavy artillery which has served him well at the tournament this year. "I mean, anybody who saw the match, I mean, saw that literally I kind of touched the grass", Djokovic said later.

"It's one of those average days you have to try to win the match, and I just couldn't get it done today". I think that these performances here at Wimbledon have been the best I've had in the last 12 months. The umpire Carlos Ramos warned the Serb for racket abuse as Nishikori strolled away with the second set.

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