Novak Djokovic is one step closer to Wimbledon glory as he cruises to Sunday’s final after a dramatic clash with Italian ace Jannik Sinner.
Novak Djokovic closed in on a record eighth Wimbledon title and fifth in a row by repeatedly serving his way out of potential trouble to beat Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the semifinals on Friday. .
Djokovic saved all six break points he faced, including a pair that were set points for Sinner at 5-4 in the third, and reached his ninth All England Club final. It is also his 35th final in all Grand Slam tournaments, more than any man or woman in tennis history.
He is seeking a 24th overall singles championship, which would mark the most in the Open era, which began in 1968. Roger Federer is the only man to have won eight singles trophies at Wimbledon. Martina Navratilova won the women’s championship nine times.
Djokovic, a 36-year-old Serb, will face No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or No. 3 Daniil Medvedev for the trophy on Sunday. Alacaraz and Medvedev were scheduled to play their semifinal later on Friday.
Due to the morning rain, the remaining four men warmed up under an enclosed retractable roof. Medvedev, who has not been scheduled to play on Center Court for the entire tournament thus far, was able to get his hitting session there; the other three semifinalists trained on Court No. 1.
The game was not without controversy, as Sinner was penalized by British referee Richard Haigh in the second set.
He said that Djokovic’s roar came too late after his shot and could have put his opponent off.
Novak Djokovic ran away with the first set while taking a 6-3 lead
Jannik Sinner’s talent was neutralized by the seven-time winner
Djokovic barged in and asked ‘what are you doing?’, before refocusing and continuing to dominate, earning the next three points to take the game.
Sinner still has the crowd on his side and, as he undoubtedly suffered, he is willing to keep them, and they break out every time he steals a point from them.
But while he may be behind on the court against the defending champion, Sinner still has a lot to talk about.
Novak Djokovic in action against Jannik Sinner
Serbian Novak Djokovic returns against Italian Jannik Sinner during their semifinal
Novak Djokovic after winning the second set during their semifinal match
Italian Jannik Sinner reacts during his semifinal match against Serbian Novak Djokovic
The Italian range, which has its own logo, is a top 10 tennis player, was a former ski champion as a junior, is a successful model with Gucci and even has its own ‘Carota Boys’ fan club.
One thing he has yet to do, still in the infancy of his career at 21, is find his way to a Grand Slam final. Today he has that same opportunity, although against Novak Djokovic, the best player in the history of men’s soccer.
It’s hard to portray Sinner as an unknown quantity when he is, along with world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz, the poster boy for the ‘next generation’.
Born in August 2001 in San Candido, a small town in northern Italy near the Austrian border, Sinner grew up in humble surroundings with his parents Hanspeter and Siglinde.
Sinner, who knocked out Roman Safiullin to reach the last four, left home at 13 to really make it in tennis.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during their men’s singles semifinal match
Jannik Sinner of Italy returns to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in a men’s singles semifinal match
Novak Djokovic of Serbia prepares to play a shot against Jannik Sinner of Italy
Jannik Sinner in action against Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinal on day twelve of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships