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Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic into semi-finals after five-set scare against Jannik Sinner

The world No 1 needed three hours and 35 minutes on Centre Court to prevail; he remains unbeaten on the court since 2013 but was pushed hard by the 20-year-old Italian; Djokovic will face Cameron Norrie in semi-finals

Image: Novak Djokovic made it through to the semi-finals the hard way

Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals of Wimbledon after coming from two sets down to beat Jannik Sinner 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

The world No 1 and his Italian opponent spent three hours and 35 minutes on Centre Court and for two sets, Sinner dominated.

However, Djokovic then used all of his experience to overturn the deficit and reach the 11th semi-final of his Wimbledon career.

"He was the better player for two sets," the world No 1 said. "I had a little refreshment off court [between sets], a toilet break and a little pep talk in the mirror... it's actually true.

"Sometimes, when not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis and the other guy is dominating, these things [pep talks] are necessary."

Image: Djokovic used his experience to be able to respond to his a poor start

The result means Djokovic has still not lost a match on Centre Court in nine years - since Andy Murray beat him in the final in 2013.

His only two defeats since, to Sam Querrey in 2016 and a retirement against Tomas Berdych a year later, came on No 1 Court at the All England Club.

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There was no hint of the drama to come when Djokovic raced into a 3-0 lead, but a sloppy service game with two double faults, including one on break point, allowed Sinner, who had never won a tour-level match on grass before these Championships, to draw level.

Jannik Sinner
Image: Sinner showed the Centre Court crowd what he's made of during the first two sets

The Serb saved a break point in his next service game but Sinner struck again for 6-5 with a whipped forehand winner and served out the opening set.

Worse was to come for Djokovic, as when Sinner successfully challenged a ball on the baseline the six-time champion was suddenly a set and two breaks down.

Match Statistics

Novak DJokovic Jannik Sinner
8 Aces 8
5 Double faults 7
66% First serve % in 54%
82% Win % on first serve 69%
42% Win % on second serve 60%
28/39 Net points won 22/35
6/15 Break points won 4/9
41 Winners 43
33 Unforced errors 41
141 Total points won 121

As Djokovic floated a backhand long Sinner took the second set, having won 100 per cent of the points behind his fizzing first serve.

But just as he looked on the cusp of unravelling, the top seed rediscovered his range following that comfort break and hit back in the third set.

Late in the fourth set, Sinner took a nasty tumble while chasing a drop shot which hurt his left ankle. In contrast, Djokovic was full of running and he levelled the match.

Sinner did not require a medical timeout but needed to shorten the points. However, when an ambitious drop-shot floated into the net Djokovic had the break in the decider and the world No 1 knew what to do from there.

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