Djokovic prevails over Nishikori to reach Wimbledon semifinals

Novak Djokovic speaks out on narrowly escaping Wimbledon scheduling nightmare

Djokovic was frustrated at times during the match, receiving two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of "double standards", but also showed plenty of signs that he is returning to somewhere near his best.

"It didn't harm the grass".

The 12-time Grand Slam champion then raised his level in the fourth set and finished with a victor into the corner to book his place in the semi-finals on Friday.

"The umpire said he didn't see". "You think I ruined the court by tossing the racket two metres behind the baseline?" Both Djokovic and Ivanisevic will follow up their personal involvements in the Wimbledon men's quarter finals by willing the Croatians to break English hearts later that evening.

Yet the 22-year-old, playing in the last 16 for the second successive grand slam, saw his hopes severely hindered by mistakes and a sliced forehand wide gave Djokovic a pair of break points - only one of which he needed. "I've been building in the last couple of weeks and my level of tennis is going up", he said.

"I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment", declared the 12th seeded Serb after joining Americans John McEnroe and Pete Sampras in fourth place on the list of most Wimbledon semi-final appearances in the Open Era.

After taking the first set, Djokovic's Japanese opponent saved four break points before levelling.

It nearly looked like Djokovic ended up giving Nishikori the point on the ensuing backhand, because when you've earned it you've earned it. Djokovic has been looking like his old self again this Wimbledon, but you have to think there's a voice in the back of his head wondering why this keeps happening to him.

The 2011, 2014 and 2015 champion was clearly unsettled by the dispute, quickly surrendering the set.

Despite handing back an early break in the opening set, Djokovic broke again for 5-3 and then wrapped up the set.

Djokovic wrested back the momentum for good after coming from 0-40 down at 2-2 in the third set to hold serve, and then breaking his Japanese opponent in the next game.

That didn't seem to affect his focus, though, and neither did a time violation he was given when serving at 4-2, 30-30 in the fourth set.

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