Novak Djokovic under fire for backing Croatia

Novak Djokovic ensured he will have a Wimbledon rest day on Tuesday after beating Karen Khachanov and the fading light to reach the quarter-finals.

After serving his way to a 2-1 lead in the third set, Djokovic ramped up his efforts and was met head-on with Nishikori's increase in tempo, but the No. 24 seed missed three break points at 2-2 and was soon trailing. But then the Japanese player, world number four in March a year ago, survived those four break points early in the second set to level.

The Serb has progressed to the last four of a Grand Slam for the 32nd time to take sole ownership of second place on the list for the most semi-final appearances at a major in the Open Era, ahead of American great Jimmy Connors. "The expectations he's had to deal with for over a decade, 15 years, I mean, at the top of the game, he's able to deal with it so well, which isn't easy". "Djokovic is a national hero and I thank him - but support Croatia, how can he not be ashamed?"

After racing through the first set, Djokovic was handed his first code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after bouncing his racquet into the grass in frustration at squandering three break points in the third game of the second set. "I knew how I threw the racket", Djokovic later explained. Early on he was bothered by the glare off the sun, adjusting his serve and then sporting a cap.


The 12th game went to deuce eight times, with Simon saving four set points, as Del Potro failed to take his chances, the worst when he put an easy volley over the baseline with the court wide open.

"Approaching Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year for me is quite different from any other year because of circumstances that I was in in the last 12 months, the injury, the surgery, so forth", Djokovic said.

Anderson added that Federer, who won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, is the flawless role model for the sport - and for those players in the chasing pack.

For the only the second time at Wimbledon, Federer was beaten after holding a two-set lead, with his previous loss from that position coming against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 quarterfinals. I don't want to stop here. "I feel physically, mentally ready, fit, positive". I didn't harm the grass. It was a step up in momentum that Nishikori momentarily halted with a break at the start of the fourth, but Djokovic then returned the favour and closed out the match. "We were even until the third set when I managed to step up a gear and end up this match really well".


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