Tennis

Novak Djokovic crushes David Goffin to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

Top seed Novak Djokovic recovered from an edgy start to deliver a devastating display that crushed the spirit of 21st-seeded Belgian David Goffin in straight sets yesterday and sent the defending champion into the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Goffin will wonder just what happened after he looked the better player in the early stages and broke for a 4-3 lead in the first set. Half an hour later, he had lost 10 games in a row and the match was effectively over as Djokovic, relentless with his accuracy, went on to triumph 6-4, 6-0, 6-2.

The Serb was at his clinical best as he soaked up the early punches without panic, then slowly but surely imposed himself in every aspect of the contest to such an extent that Goffin was left flailing on Centre Court.

Djokovic, who has lost only once at a Grand Slam in the last 12 months, is into his ninth Wimbledon semi-final - only Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer have been in more. He will face Roberto Bautista Agut, who defeated Guido Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and will be confident of making Sunday's showdown.

The world No. 1 has reached the last four, having lost one set and been broken only five times in five matches and was delighted with how yesterday's match unfolded.

"He (Goffin) started well and was dictating the play from the baseline," he said.

"Things could have gone a different way, who knows what the match would have looked like if I had lost the first set? But I was very pleased with the second and third.

"I had a tough match in the third round (against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz). Other than that, I've won in straight sets and played really well throughout the tournament.

"It's exactly what I wanted and hopefully I can go in the right direction in the semis as well."

Goffin's Grand Slam record against top 10 players is dire, with only one win in 13 attempts, but he knows Djokovic well as one of his regular practice partners.

But he could do nothing as Djokovic won the second set 6-0. Goffin then received what all pros must hate - the Centre Court sympathy clap - when he stopped the rot by holding serve for 1-1 in the third set.

But the Serb then finished things off in less than two hours. - REUTERS

Tennis