Novak Djokovic sends Rafael Nadal warning ahead of Wimbledon semi-final clash

Novak Djokovic sends Rafael Nadal warning ahead of Wimbledon semi-final clash

Novak Djokovic beats Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, where he will face Kei Nishikori.

It will be the Serbian's first appearance in the last four at a grand slam since finishing as runner-up at the US Open in 2016.

Djokovic overcame a series of rows with the chair umpire to record a 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory over Japan's former US Open finalist.

"To be honest, I thought it was unnecessary to get a warning".

Indignation that his aura of invincibility, so unmistakable when he won the French Open in 2016 to hold all the grand-slam events simultaneously and appeared to have a stranglehold on the men's game, has been shattered.

Yet the 22-year-old, playing in the last 16 for the second successive grand slam, saw his hopes severely hindered by mistakes and a sliced forehand wide gave Djokovic a pair of break points - only one of which he needed. "I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment".

Nishikori capitalised on this lapse in concentration, putting together his finest game of the match to break and then consolidate.

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With Kevin Anderson taking nearly three and a half hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in the previous match, Djokovic knew he had about two hours of daylight left if he wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday's rest day to finish off the contest.

Rafael Nadal awaits in the semifinals after the Spaniard took the scenic route in a five-set marathon against Juan Martin del Potro; a rematch of the 2011 contest where Djokovic first tasted success on the lawns of south west London. "The expectations he's had to deal with for over a decade, 15 years, I mean, at the top of the game, he's able to deal with it so well, which isn't easy". The two began dating long before Djokovic became a household name, and got married in Montenegro in 2014 right after he won Wimbledon.

Asked if he is a genuine contender this year, Djokovic replied: "That's why I'm here".

He also spoke about his anger that he displayed during the match, which is very uncharacteristic of him, he said, " Sometimes it fires you up, so...

"(Nishikori) even threw the racquet in the fourth set. "I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals".

"Post-match I heard that the organisers were planning to cancel my match if Monfils and Anderson went to a fifth".

"I want to use today's result as a spring from which to aim for a final place". You have got people in all different languages swearing constantly all the time.

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