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Men’s and women’s semi-finals set at Wimbledon

We are down to the final four men and women at Wimbledon and we are very close to our first Novak Djokovic vs Rafa Nadal major final showdown since the 2020 French Open, and first at the All England Club since 2011.

Three of the four men’s quarter-finals went to five sets, with Novak Djokovic having to come from two sets to love down to oust Italian tenth seed Jannik Sinner and keep alive his chances of a seventh title at SW19.

The Djoker was contesting the 47th five-set match of his career – which has also included several epic major finals – while Sinner was playing just his fifth.

It marked the seventh time in his career that the 35-year-old was forced to overcome a two-set deficit – having also done so twice at last year’s French Open, including when he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

This experience helped him through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the eleventh time; on only three occasions has the Serb not reached the final: in 2007 (lost to Rafael Nadal on a retirement), 2010 (lost to Tomas Berdych) and 2012 (lost to Roger Federer).

In the final four, Djokovic will have a country against him as he comes up against British ninth seed Cameron Norrie, who came from two sets to one down to oust Belgian veteran David Goffin and reach his first Major semi-final.

While Norrie isn’t in the same vein as his more famous and successful compatriot Andy Murray in terms of career achievements, the 26-year-old will still carry the hopes of a nation into Friday night’s (AEST) showdown with the Djoker.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal had to display his fighting qualities to edge out American 11th seed Taylor Fritz, emerging in a champions’ tiebreak after a brutal five-set battle lasting four hours and 21 minutes.

Rafael Nadal celebrates.

(Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

The Spaniard survived a brutal battle against the American, who handed him his first loss of the season at Indian Wells in March, to advance to just his second Wimbledon semi-final since 2011.

From 3-1 up in the opening set, Nadal dropped five games in a row to drop the first set 6-3, but in typical fashion would hit back to claim the second by 7-5 and level the match at a set apiece, despite having to take a medical time-out to treat an abdominal strain.

Fritz was quick to regain the ascendancy, taking the third set by the same scoreline in which he won the first, but just as the finsish line was within sight, the Spaniard broke to claim the fourth set and thus force a decider.

The 36-year-old held his nerve to eventually claim victory in a tense tiebreak, winning in five sets to book his highly anticipated final four showdown with Kyrgios in what will be their third showdown at the All England Club.

In stark contrasts to the five-set struggles Djokovic, Nadal and Norrie all endured, Kyrgios was barely made to sweat in his straight-sets dismissal of Chilean Cristian Garin, despite losing the first nine points of the match.

The 27-year-old went into the match under a mental cloud after news broke on Tuesday night (AEST) that he would be summoned to appear at a Canberra court on charges of a domestic violence incident arising from December last year.

But it didn’t affect his mindset as he produced another masterclass to advance to the final four at a major for the first time, becoming the first Australian man to get this far since Lleyton Hewitt at the 2005 US Open, and here since the baseline warrior also seventeen years ago.

To put that all into context, Hewitt was 24 when he reached his last major semi-final, after which his best form eluded him for the final decade of his playing career, despite his valiant efforts.

Kyrgios would now fancy his chances of reaching a maiden major final against Nadal, who has admitted that he may not be fit to take his place in the semi-final.

It has been a spiteful rivalry between the two players, which started with the Australian, then ranked 144th in the world, shocked the then-top ranked Spaniard with a four set victory on Centre Court in 2014.

Nadal has, however, won the past three meetings, including their most recent clash at the All England Club in 2019 as well as at the Australian Open in 2020; both were decided in four sets.

Kyrgios is the last remaining local hope in either the men’s or women’s singles draws, after Ajla Tomljanovic crashed out in three sets against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

The Queenslander started brightly, breaking early and not facing a break point in the opening set, but after trading breaks early in the second, Rybakina rattled off four games without reply, breaking to love in the eighth game to claim it 6-2 and level the match at a set apiece.

The 17th seed secured another break early in the final set to lead 3-0, but while Tomljanovic was able to peg one back late, it was to no avail as the 29-year-old had her Wimbledon dreams ended in the final eight for the second year running.

Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Rybakina next goes on to face Simona Halep, who thrashed American 20th seed Amanda Anisimova to advance to her second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final (also taking in 2019 but not taking into consideration the cancelled 2020 tournament and her withdrawal in 2021).

As the only former Major champion remaining in the draw, Halep is now the favourite to take out the title though third seed Ons Jabeur remains in the draw and will be heavily favoured to reach her first Major final when she comes up against Tatjana Maria tonight.

While the ladies’ semi-finals will be played this evening, tomorrow night (AEST) the men will be in action, with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to start favourites to set up what is expected to be another titanic championship clash against each other on Sunday night (AEST).

Matches to watch on Day 11

Centre Court – from 1:30pm (10:30pm AEST)
[3] Ons Jabeur (TUN) vs Tatjana Maria (GER)
[17] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) vs [16] Simona Halep (ROU)

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