History champion Novak Djokovic will face Britain’s Cameron Nouri in the Wimbledon semi-final on Friday as Nick Kyrgios has been given a day off after recovering from Rafael Nadal’s injury. The Spanish second seed was forced to retire due to a stomach ache before his last four matches against Kyrgios on Thursday. Nadal’s withdrawal deprives the tournament of a blockbuster semi-final, which has been on the cards since Australia’s Kyrgios defeated Stefanos Setcipas in a bad-tempered third-round match.
Kyrgios will have a break before Sunday’s final, while top seed Djokovic can now look to win his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.
The Serb returned from a two-set defeat to Italian 10th seed Gennik Senor in their quarter-finals on Tuesday.
But the 35-year-old ended the match with a fresh look, even splitting out a provocative winner.
Djokovic is on track to win 26 matches at Wimbledon as he looks to win seven titles with Pete Sampras at the All England Club – just one behind Roger Federer’s men’s record.
He is also bidding to reach the record 32nd Grand Slam singles final, which will put him one step ahead of Federer.
If he wins the title, he will overtake Federer to reach 21 Grand Slam titles and be just one behind Nadal in the race for the biggest title ever.
“Take him to Djokovic.”
Britain’s ninth seed Noori has never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam before Wimbledon this year.
The 26-year-old has vowed to “take him” to Djokovic and will hope to ride the wave of home support but has a difficult task on his hands to remove the champion.
Djokovic, who defeated Nouri in his only previous meeting, is ready for a racist mob on a hot day in London.
“For that, not much to lose,” he said. “Every win from now on is a big thing for him.
“I know that. But, you know, I’ve practiced a few times. I know the game well.
Kyrios is kicking his heels out on Friday, missing out on a chance to repeat his famous 2014 victory over Nadal at Wimbledon, which the Spaniard avenged five years later.
The Australian reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in straight sets against unseeded Chile’s Christian Garin in his last eight matches, but was given a day off instead.
Kyrgios has expressed good wishes for Nadal, with the Spanish player predicting that his injury will take four weeks to heal.
“Different players, different personalities. Farafaelnadal I hope you recover and we all hope to see you healthy soon – until next time,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. Written on
The Australian tournament has been hailed for its charming shots, but also its familiar voices on the court – including the demand that Tsitsipas be knocked out of the championship for hitting the ball in the crowd.
The 40th-ranked player has been fined a total of 14 14,000 and now faces additional charges over his appearance in an Australian court, which is related to the charge of assault.
But he said he was proud to be at Wimbledon so far.
“I clearly thought about last year, a year and a half, whether I want to play more – love lost, fire lost, spark lost.
“Then things changed in my life … I somehow rediscovered that I have a lot of people who want to play for me, for whom I play.
“I have a lot left in the tank. I feel like I’m playing my best tennis, feeling great mentally.”
Kyrgios, who has beaten Djokovic in both of his meetings, will like the chances of anyone playing on Sunday.
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