Novak Djokovic beats Jannik Sinner to reach Wimbledon semifinals

He is not a Djok'.

He is not a Djok’.
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It gets to the point where when Novak Djokovic wins two sets at a Grand Slam, he’s an even bigger one favorite than he was at the start of a match. If he isn’t already.

For the seventh time in his career, Djokovic delivered the feat at Wimbledon yesterday, tricking future star Jannik Sinner into the trickster of hopes before ripping him off in a 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 promotion to the semifinals. Djokovic looked completely exhausted in the second set after losing a 4-1 lead in the first. It is rare for him to look tired and out of sorts as he is one of the strongest humans on the planet. You can almost always count on Djokovic to accomplish almost anything, even if his shotmaking is getting a little out of hand. But that wasn’t the case in the second set, when he actually looked 35 and gave everyone around that age a glimmer of hope that it will indeed come for everyone.

The look of lethargy shouldn’t have fooled us, and maybe Sinner knew what was coming, because while he played incredibly well, he got nervous in the third set. It seems like everyone does when they play Djokovic, wondering where the bear trap is as they lead the way. Each step becomes even more careful as they get closer to victory. It is another mental damper that the Serb throws over his opponents. Sinner will one day become a big thing, with his elephant gun of a forehand and mobility. But that day is dragged off again and again by Djokovic and Nadal in the cruellest banter in tennis, as they refuse to hand the game over to anyone else.

The other pale cast, and the reason Djokovic is so ready to make these kinds of comebacks, is that his game generally doesn’t need a lot of tweaking to get back on track. While others may need to recover a lot of ground to rediscover their agility and battle lines and winners galore, or someone like Nadal tapping into a store of energy and rage that isn’t always there physically, Djokovic’s game isn’t built on that foundation. He is capable of all that, but Djokovic’s greatness rests on being pure and simple, with a metronomic series of bases landing a foot or less from the baseline and simply pushing his opponents off the field or tempting them to try their shots. risky to time off the rump. That leads to a lot of shafts and sprays and short balls for Djokovic to jump on.

Djokovic was very stiflingly clean in the last three sets of the match, with just three unforced errors in the third and fifth set. When Djokovic is this clean, the rallies drag on, the muscles burn, the mind flattens and Djokovic only gets stronger as he feels the wilting over the net of him. And then he walks everything down and immediately changes from defense to attack.

There’s also a question of being the greatest returner of all time, so there are no easy points to be found anywhere, and you feel the opponent drowning between all the shots they have to make. Sinner had one ace in the last two sets, which could help explain how he got broken in each twice.

Djokovic can just come back because he just stands there. Even if it goes well for someone for two sets, the next three sets will be filled with shots returning to him within reach of his feet, until he is pushed back to step on the people’s toes. And whatever the opponents come up with, Djokovic picks it up and immediately sends it back with depth. You can fire everything at him with everything you’ve got for as long as you can, and when the dust settles, he’s still there, right where he was, the dust off his shoulder. No matter how dejected he looks at times, he’s just one game or one shot away from finding the level of Immobile Objects he’s been a decade or more.

While coming back from two sets sounds and looks like a big turnaround and turning a game upside down, for Djokovic it’s just a minor adjustment of the dials. It’s a tweak, a nudge, which is why he’s most likely to do it. And now his opponents know it’s coming, which means whether Djokovic is ahead or behind in a match, his opponent’s knees are thumping. They know as much as we do that he is never more than an arm’s length from finding and just being there, immovable and impenetrable.