Serbian no.1 seed Novak Djokovic continued his run in London on Wednesday by defeating no.26 seed Marin Cilic 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2 in three hours and 18 minutes to reach his fifth Wimbledon semi-final in a row.
The 2011 titlist won 74% of his first service points and 14 of 22 points when approaching the net.
It was a perfect start for Novak who took the opening set 6-1, breaking his rival in the second and sixth games.
The Belgrade native had two break points at the beginning of the second set, but failed to convert them. Cilic grabbed his chance in the fourth game and went on to win it 6-3.
The Croat broke in the 11th game of the third set, but Djokovic fought back immediately to force a tie-breaker. After 67 minutes, Cilic clinched a two sets to one lead.
Novak raised his level of play from there and claimed the fourth and fifth sets, losing just four games.
“It was a tough five-setter. Coming in I knew Marin would play aggressively,“ Novak said. “He raised his game but I allowed him to come back into it. I was too passive on my strokes and he used his opportunities but I managed to find the right pace when I needed it. In the last two sets I felt I had control again.”
Match statistics: aces (10-10), double faults (3-6), winners (32-42), unforced errors (32-48), total points won (161-131).
Novak will take on 11th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Friday for a place in The Championships final.
The Bulgarian upset defending champion Andy Murray in straight sets earlier in the day.
“It’s a big win for Grigor, he’s on fire,“ Djokovic said on his next opponent. “He hasn’t lost on grass this year. He’s the player to beat.”
Novak leads career H2H with Dimitrov 3-1.
Seven-time former winner Roger Federer (SUI, 4) faces Milos Raonic (CAN, 8) in the second semi-final.
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