Indyplus updates: Wimbledon 2013

 

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The Independent Online

Today's semi-finals will see Djokovic v Del Potro and Murray v Janowicz fighting at the Centre Court. Read below the latest updates and match reports...

Novak Djokovic pushed to the limit by Juan Martin del Potro before reaching the final

Novak Djokovic, the top seed, will play in only his second Wimbledon final on Sunday after defeating Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in a match of such stunning quality that an admiring Boris Becker called it “a live highlights show”.

The fitness levels of both men were tested to the full as well and it was Djokovic's that held firmest. The favourite got just about as good as he gave in five compelling sets. He lost the second before breaking through in a third set tie-break to take a 2-1 lead as Del Potro made a dreadful error with the whole court at his mercy. That cost the Argentine what some had called the best set of tennis this Wimbledon. The fourth went to a tie-break too in which Del Potro saved two match points and still won it; finally after four hours and 44 minutes - the longest ever Wimbledon semi-final -  Djokovic was through to play Andy Murray or Jerzy Janowicz by 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.

Del Potro showed no nerves in his first Grand Slam semi-final for four years, since he won the US Open, conjuring up some wonderful shots, some of them surprisingly deft, others simply thunderous. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out of the official ATP top three when the next rankings are published on Monday, he would seem to have every chance of joining David Ferrer in breaking into the elite group of players - if he can stay fit.

After winning the battle of wounded knee against Ferrer in the quarter-final there seemed to be few injury problems here, although he did call for the doctor and appeared to take some more "magic pills" early in the second set. They worked well, enabling him to break serve for 4-3 after Djokovic frittered away four break points.

Not until the third set tie-break did the South American falter again. With Djokovic's slides across court apparently immune from the accidents that have befallen others, one suddenly left him on the floor and without a racket, yet Del Potro, with the whole court gaping, netted an overhead. It was the first mini-break, another followed and Djokovic ruthlessly finished the breaker 7-2. 

 Looking weary in the fourth, Del Potro was broken in the seventh game of the fourth set yet revived to break back immediately with a cracking backhand down the line. So to another tie-break, in which Del Potro surrendered the first point on his serve, saved two match points and still came out on top when his fine return forced Djokovic to net. 

In the fifth set with Murray and Janowicz no doubt wondering if they would ever get on, Djokovic broke to lead 5-3, went 0-30 down but won through with a deep backhand. 

"It was one of the best matches I've ever been part of," the victor said. "It was so close. I'm just privileged to be a winner and proud to go through."

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