Novak Djokovic is prepared for Friday’s Wimbledon semi-final against Cameron Norrie, knowing that his biggest opponent Rafael Nadal is no longer a threat to his 21st Grand Slam title.
Due to an abdominal issue, the second-seeded Spanish player was forced to withdraw from his match against Nick Kyrgios in the round of 16 on Thursday, conceding a loss in the fitness race.
Due to Kyrgios’ upset victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tense third-round encounter, Nadal’s departure from the competition eliminates the possibility of a thrilling semi-final meeting between the two players.
While Djokovic, the top seed, can now see the route to a fourth straight Wimbledon victory opening up before him, Kyrgios will be forced to take a break before Sunday’s final.
In his Tuesday quarterfinal matchup with Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner, the Serb had to rally from two sets down.
But the 35-year-old came out on top in the last round, even managing an incredible victory while doing the splits.
To tie Pete Sampras’ seven championships at the All England Club, which is only one behind Roger Federer’s men’s record, Djokovic is on a 26-match-winning run at Wimbledon.
In addition, he wants to beat Roger Federer’s record of 31 Grand Slam singles final appearances.
If he wins the match, he would have won 21 Grand Slam tournaments, passing Roger Federer and behind only Nadal by one in the hunt for the title of all-time great.
Take it to Djokovic,
Before this year’s Wimbledon, British ninth seed Norrie has never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam.
The 26-year-old has promised to “take it” to Djokovic and will try to ride a wave of home crowd support, but it will be difficult to dethrone the champion.
Djokovic, who prevailed against Norrie in their lone prior encounter, is ready for a loyal following.
He responded, “For him, not much to lose.” “From this point on, he values every triumph highly.
“I am aware of it. I did, however, practice a few times. I am familiar with his game. He is not new. Of course, I’ll do my homework and prepare.
Without the opportunity to duplicate his memorable Wimbledon triumph against Nadal from 2014, which the Spaniard avenged five years later, Kyrios will kick his heels on Friday.
The Australian easily defeated Chilean Cristian Garin, an unseeded opponent, in straight sets to get to his maiden Grand Slam semifinal.
In addition to his usual on-court tirades, Kyrgios’ campaign has been marked by dazzling shot-making, including a demand that Tsitsipas be disqualified from the championships for smashing a ball into the audience.
The player, now ranked 40th, has already received a total fine of $14,000, and he will soon have to attend court in Australia to answer for an alleged assault.
But he said that he was pleased with his performance at Wimbledon.
“I pondered whether I wanted to play anymore during the last year or year and a half — lost the passion, the fire, the spark.
“Then, a few things in my life suddenly altered… I’ve just now realized how many individuals I play for and for whom I perform.
I still have a lot of gas in the tank. I think I’m probably playing some of my greatest tennis right now, and I’m in fantastic mental shape.
Having defeated Djokovic in all their encounters, Kyrgios will be confident in his prospects against anyone he faces on Sunday.
He must observe and wait throughout this period.