Djokovic squeezes into title round

Serbian world No 1 battles past Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in epic semifinal match

Djokovic squeezes into title round

Top seed Novak Djokovic entered the final of the Wimbledon, defeating Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Friday.

Djokovic and Del Potro will set a record for the longest semi-final ever played at Wimbledon as their enthralling clash entered a fifth set and a fifth hour on Friday.
Djokovic took the first set 7-5, lost the next 4-6, took the third on a tie-break before eighth-seeded Del Potro saved two match points before winning the fourth set tie-break. At 2-2 in the fifth set, the match had lasted four hours 13 minutes, already longer than the previous record of four hours, one minute set in 1989 when Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl in five sets.

Some players whirl away on exercise bikes before a match, others practise until they are called by the referee and some listen to music. Marion Bartoli likes to fall asleep.

Her unusually laid-back approach did her no harm on Thursday, however, as the 28-year-old Frenchwoman rose from the locker-room sofa half an hour before walking on court to thrash Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and reach her second Wimbledon semi-final.
"I felt I was just maybe a bit tired and I needed a quick nap just to recover from my early morning practice and everything I had to do to be ready to go on court," she told reporters after a 6-1 6-2 Centre Court victory.

"It was just a quick nap of 15, 20 minutes, and go on court. So far it's working extremely well, so I don't see why I should change that.

"If I do feel like I need (a nap), it's not a problem for me to sleep and come back and be ready."

Livewire

It is quite a juxtaposition because on court she is a livewire, rarely standing still between points as she goes through a series of manic routines which include practise swings, running on the spot and pumping her fists.

There are shades of Rafael Nadal about her on-court demeanour as she sometimes sprints back to the chair after game points.

"Actually I've been doing that forever," she said. "I have some tapes of myself when I was seven years old or six years old, and I was still doing the same. It's just part of me."
Bartoli, who recently began working with former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo after most of her career being coached by father Walter, may never have a better chance to win a grand slam title with Germany's Sabine Lisicki awaiting on Saturday. Lisicki will be a formidable test but she is not a Serena Williams or a Maria Sharapova or even a Venus Williams who she lost to six years ago.

"I think I'm serving better. I think I'm doing everything just better. I think I'm able to hit the ball harder. I'm moving faster," Bartoli said of the improvements she has made to her game since losing to Williams. "I do just everything a bit better than what I was doing six years ago. If I would play myself now with my game six years ago compared with my game today I would be beating myself easily."

Walter has been noticeably absent from his daughter's matches this Wimbledon as she taps into the experience of Mauresmo and hitting partner Thomas Drouet, the man allegedly assaulted by the father of Australian Bernard Tomic. "He's coming for the final. Don't worry," she said.

Results (all semifinals): Men’s singles: 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 8-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (6-8), 6-3.
Women’s doubles: 8-Hsieh Su-Wei (Tai)/ Peng Shuai (Chn) bt Shuko Aoyama (Jpn)/ Chanelle Scheepers (SA) 6-4, 6-3; 12-Ashleigh Barty/ Casey Dellacqua (Aus) bt 7-Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger)/ Kveta Peschke (Cze) 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Mixed doubles: 1-Bruno Soares (Bra)/ Lisa Raymond (US) bt Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned)/ Vera Dushevina (Rus) 6-4, 6-4; 8-Daniel Nestor (Can)/ Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt 3-Nenad Zimonjic (Srb)/ Katarina Srebotnik (Slv) 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 11-9.

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