Cool, calm Djokovic plots stress-free route to final

Novak Djokovic is determined to keep calm and carry on bludgeoning his way through Wimbledon.

Cool, calm Djokovic plots stress-free route to final

The big-hitting Serbian enjoyed some down-time at a local golf course yesterday in advance of today’s last four clash with Juan Martin Del Potro and the former looked every bit the champion as he posed for pictures with fans.

And he has every reason to be feeling relaxed because today’s meeting with Del Potro will be his fifth Wimbledon semi-final.

Djokovic has gone on to win the title once, in 2011, and he is drawing on all his experience to keep his nerve this time.

“I’m trying to use that experience that I had in past, especially in this tournament in 2011, to feel comfortable and calm and confident towards the end of the major tournament,” the top seed said.

“Now I’m in the semi-finals. Hopefully I can go a step further.

“I’m really going to try to step out on the court and give my best to be in another final of Wimbledon. I believe I can make it.”

Belief will be key for Djokovic today because the last time the two met at SW19, it was Del Potro who won.

Eleven months ago, the 24-year-old beat the world No 1 in straight sets to win bronze at the Olympics.

As that was the only clash between the two on grass, Djokovic is wary of those who already think he is a dead cert to make Sunday’s final.

“He is a quality opponent,” Djokovic said of Del Potro, who won the US Open in 2009.

“There are no real clear favourites now in the later stages of the event.

“But inspiration is out there, you know. Of course you always want to do your best in the grand slams.”

Like Djokovic, Del Potro has had a near-perfect progression through Wimbledon so far.

The eighth seed has dispatched Andreas Seppi, Grega Zemlja, Jesse Levine and fourth seed David Ferrer without losing a set.

His only problem has come from his left knee, which he injured against Zemlja last week. The problem resurfaced on Wednesday when he suffered a nasty fall during his first game against Ferrer.

“I am okay,” he said. “I think I will be better for today. I will think about the match, about Nole [Djokovic] and nothing else.”

“It will be a difficult day but I will try to play better than yesterday and try to win,” Del Potro added.

In the other semi-final, home favourite Andy Murray declared himself ready to take on the might of up and coming star Jerzy Janowicz.

The big Pole is a surprise semi-finalist, being only the 24th seed and a relative newcomer to the ATP Tour.

Last year he had to qualify for Wimbledon, going on to reach the third round, and he has enjoyed a rapid rise since then.

He has benefited from the fall of seeds around him, but was very impressive in beating compatriot Lukasz Kubot on Wednesday, firing down 30 aces in three sets.

Murray, who beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in a five-set thriller to make it this far, said: “He’s a big guy with a lot of power. He also has pretty good touch. He doesn’t just whack every single shot as hard as he can.

“He’s played extremely well here, I think. He had a tough match in the [fourth] round against [Jurgen] Melzer but apart from that he’s been pretty convincing.”

Murray, meanwhile, has called on the Centre Court crowd to get behind him from the start and not wait until he is in trouble to raise the roof.

He said: “When I went behind [against Verdasco], the crowd definitely got right behind me and made a huge, huge difference.

“If they can be like that from the first point to the last in all of the matches, it makes a huge difference.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox