• Wimbledon

Djokovic sets up Dimitrov semi-final

ESPN staff
July 2, 2014
Novak Djokovic went to five sets against Marin Cilic © Getty Images

Novak Djokovic went the distance to overcome Marin Cilic in five sets and book a Wimbledon semi-final date with Grigor Dimitrov.

The top seed took the first set comfortably but was soon pegged back, before Cilic won a third-set tie-breaker to edge in front.

However, Djokovic roared into the final by taking the last two sets for the loss of just four games, sealing the match 6-1 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2 with a love service hold after three hours and 18 minutes on No.1 Court.

Novak Djokovic got himself all tangled up in the net on No.1 Court - and later changed his shoes © Getty Images

The world No.2, into his 23rd grand slam semi-final, now faces Dimitrov - conqueror of fallen champion Andy Murray - for a place in Sunday's final.

"It's a big win for Grigor," said Djokovic. "He's been on fire for six months. He's won Queen's and hasn't lost a match on grass this year. He's the player to beat.

"The first three sets we played we could hear the crowd from Centre Court, you can get into the other match. It was distracting to be honest, for both of us. No excuses, we had to focus when we had to focus.

"It was a tough five setter. It was a very even match in the first few sets. The last two I felt I regained control. I started swinging through the ball. I had stability in my ground-strokes. I was getting returns back, he has a very big serve and was using it to his advantage.

"He raised his game but on the other hand I allowed him back into the match after the first set. I was frustrated because I allowed him to get into control of the rallies, but I managed to find the right pace when I needed."

Djokovic also quipped that his turnaround against Cilic was down to a change in footwear.

"Maybe it's the shoes but since I changed them I played really well, midway through the fourth," said Djokovic, who has now reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in each of the last five years. "I'll keep them [against Dimitrov] and see if it works."

Djokovic, the 2011 champion and 2013 runner-up at the All England Club, has reached at least the semi-finals at 16 of his past 17 grand slam tournaments.

The six-time grand slam champion improved to 10-0 against Cilic, who was in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time.

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