Cyprus Mail

Djokovic ends Fucsovics run to reach 10th Wimbledon semi

The Serb is now two wins from a record-equalling 20th men's grand slam title

Playing in his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final, Novak Djokovic recorded a century of tour-level wins on grass as he suffocated the challenge of Marton Fucsovics with a 6-3 6-4 6-4 win to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday.

While such numbers might sound impressive, for Djokovic the only statistic that matters is that his dream of joining Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal on a record 20 Grand Slam titles was still very much alive as was the chance of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the calendar slam.

Fucsovics produced some gutsy shots to stay alive in the first set when Djokovic stood at 5-0 up with two set points and hung in with the top seed till 4-4 in the second.

But once Djokovic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second set, it was clear that this would not be his day.

In his 10th Wimbledon semi-final, and 41st across all four majors, the Serbian will meet Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov produced a storming finish to beat Karen Khachanov in five sets and reach the semis, his deepest run at a Grand Slam tournament.

The quarter-final seemed to be slipping away from the stylish 22-year-old left-hander when he trailed by two sets to one but he hit back to win 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-1 6-4.

Shapovalov will bid to become only the second Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final.

Both 10th seed Shapovalov and 25th seed Khachanov were playing in a Grand Slam quarter-final for only the second time and they delivered a superb contest on a packed No.1 Court.

Shapovalov carried the form he showed in a fourth-round hammering of Spaniard Robert Bautista Agut into his second career clash with Khachanov and took the opening set courtesy of a single break of serve in the ninth game.

But rock-solid Khachanov responded to go 4-0 ahead in the second set and although Shapovalov re-focused it was too late to save the set. Khachanov then pounced on a Shapovalov lapse to break serve at 5-5 in the third set, holding his own serve in the next game to move to within one set of victory.

Shapovalov hit a purple patch to dominate the fourth set and as the match went into the decider the 25-year-old Khachanov seemed to be feeling the pace.

He hung on grimly, scrambling out of a hole when he fell 0-40 down on serve at 2-2. Shapovalov piled on the pressure again at 4-4 and saw three break points go begging before Khachanov sent a tired-looking forehand long on a fourth.

Serving for the biggest win of his career, Shapovalov overcame a nervy double-fault and brought up two match points with a forehand winner, before sealing victory when Khachanov dumped a backhand into the net.

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