Wimbledon: Djokovic Advances to final after beating Nadal in epic showdown
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is one match away from a first Grand Slam title since 2016 after a successful win over Spain’s Rafael Nasal in their epic semi-final battle.
Rafael Nadal was unable to convert three set points in the third-set tie break, which would have given him a 2-1 overnight lead.
Djokovic led by two sets – 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 10-8 in five hours and 16 minutes to claim the win on Friday.
Friday’s match was Nadal and Djokovic’s 52nd meeting – more than any other two men in the Open era – and the pair did not disappoint as they finally resumed their long-standing rivalry on the Grand Slam stage.
Nadal missed five break points in the decider and was eventually punished as 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic reached his first major final since the 2016 US Open.
An ecstatic Djokovic said:
“It’s hard to pick the words,. I’m just going through things that flash back, the last 15 months, everything I have been through to get here, to win against the best player in the world in one of the longest matches I ever played. I am overwhelmed.
“It’s very special. It really could have gone either way. It was clear very few things separated the two players. Until the last shot I didn’t know if I was going to win. I believed it, but he was very close. These kind of matches you live for and work for. I’m in the semi-finals of Wimbledon, that’s am incredible achievement for me after what I’ve been through.”
The match ended after 5hours and 15minutes – the second longest semi-final in Wimbledon history. It is the Serbs first Grand Slam final since the US Open i n 2016 and he will play Kevin Anderson in the final on Sunday.