Novak Djokovic rallied from two sets to love down to overcome Jannik Sinner and advance to his 11th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday.
Djokovic won 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and will face either Cameron Norrie of the United Kingdom or David Goffin of Belgium in the final on Sunday.
“Huge congrats to Jannik for a big fight, he’s so mature for his age, he has plenty of time ahead of him,” said Djokovic.
“The first two sets compared to the next three were like two different matches. He was the better player for those first two sets.
“But at the end of the second set I took a toilet break, gave myself a little pep talk, tried to gather my thoughts.
“I broke early in the third set. I saw a little bit of doubt start to come into his movement. I have many years’ experience of playing on these courts and coping with the pressure.”
It was the eighth time in the Serb’s career that he has come back from a two-set deficit at a Grand Slam.
The top-seeded Serb extended his All England Club winning record to 26 matches.
The six-time Wimbledon winner advanced to 10-1 in five-set matches at the All England Club, losing only once in 2006.
Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, will now face either unseeded David Goffin or ninth-seeded Cameron Norrie for a place in the final on Sunday.
Djokovic is attempting to equal Pete Sampras’ seven-time Wimbledon title and is just one short of Roger Federer’s men’s record of eight.
Djokovic’s most recent defeat came at Wimbledon five years ago, when he retired due to an elbow ailment.
The win was Djokovic’s 84th at Wimbledon and ties him with Jimmy Connors for second-most men’s singles match wins at the All England Club, trailing only Roger Federer.
Djokovic has been unable to add to his 20 major titles this year after being deported prior to the Australian Open due to a COVID-19 impasse and then losing to Rafa Nadal in the French Open quarter-finals.
But he kept the possibility of facing second seed Nadal in the final on Sunday alive with this remarkable comeback victory!
Sinner, who was attempting to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Matteo Berrettini, who reached the final last year, demonstrated why he is being hailed as a future Grand Slam champion, but he faded in the face of Djokovic’s onslaught.
Sinner realised he was facing mission impossible when the Serbian hit a remarkable backhand winner on the slide to earn a break in the seventh game of the fourth set, ending on his tummy in a superman pose.