World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continued his serene progress through The Championships draw on Wednesday by recording the 100th grass-court win of his career (100-18) for a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The Serbian superstar, who is seeking to capture a 20th Grand Slam crown and draw level with all-time leaders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, got off to a fast start against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary on Centre Court, but ultimately needed to work his way to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over two hours and 17 minutes.
“It was a solid performance and I started off really well, particularly in the first five games of the set,” said Djokovic. “One break of serve in the second and third sets was enough today and I’d like to give credit to Marton for fighting so hard.”
Djokovic has now won 32 of 35 matches this season, which includes securing the first two major trophies of the year at the Australian Open (d. Medvedev) and at Roland Garros (d. Tsitsipas). He also lifted the Belgrade Open crown (d. Molcan) prior to the clay-court major in Paris.
The 34-year-old will continue his quest to become the fifth man in the sport’s history to win the first three Grand Slam of the year — after Jack Crawford (1933), Don Budge (1938), Lew Hoad (1956) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) — in his 10th Wimbledon semi-final on Friday.
Djokovic, a five-time Wimbledon champion, will next challenge Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov, who beat 25th seed Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on No. 1 Court. He leads 22-year-old Shapovalov 6-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, including a 7-5, 7-5 win at the ATP Cup in February.
Most Wimbledon Semi-final Appearances (All-Time)
|Player||No. of Appearances|
|1) Roger Federer (SUI)||13|
|2) Jimmy Connors (USA)||11|
|3) Novak Djokovic (SRB)||10|
|4=) Boris Becker (GER)||9|
|Arthur Gore (GBR)||9|
|Herbert Lawford (GBR)||9|
The contest, as a competitive spectacle, truly began once Djokovic had won the first five games for the loss of just seven points. Fucsovics looked like a dear in headlights in the first 18 minutes, but with improved groundstroke length, the Hungarian, in his first Grand Slam quarter-final, started to press Djokovic. Soon 5-0 became 5-3, before Djokovic converted his sixth set point to end the 42-minute passage of play.
Fucsovics saved four break points in the first game of the second set, his return game improved — founded on his rock-solid backhand — but the 29-year-old was unable to make inroads in Djokovic’s service games. At 4-4, the pressure began to tell and Djokovic broke clear after Fucsovics made a backhand error.
From 3-4 down in the second set, Djokovic won five straight games, including a recovery from 0/40 — and four break points in total — at 1-0 in the third set. He closed out his third straight victory over Fucsovics with a hold to 15, having hit 23 winners in total.
.@DjokerNole won his 100th career match on grass and he’s the 3rd active player (@rogerfederer, @andy_murray) with at least 100 wins on 3 different surfaces (W-L):
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) July 7, 2021
“He started very well [and] he played well during the whole match,” said Fucsovics. “I had to find the rhythm. I had to find my serve. It was a bit windy during the match [and] I had to get used to it.”
World No. 48 Fucsovics had beaten 19th seed Jannik Sinner of Italy, Czech Jiri Vesely, ninth-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman and fifth seed Andrey Rublev of Russia en route to his first Grand Slam quarter-final.