LONDON – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Wimbledon quarterfinal action on Wednesday, a victory that puts him in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in nearly two years.
The Japanese player’s poor winning percentage on first-serve points was the key factor in the match.
Over the final two sets, the No. 24 seed won just 16 of his 35 points when putting his first serve in play, a recipe for disaster against one of the most accomplished players in tennis history.
Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, will next take on the winner of a quarterfinal match pitting Spanish No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal against fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
The Serbian, who came down from his pedestal as men’s tennis’ dominant No. 1 player due in part to a serious elbow injury and is currently ranked No. 21, has made strides toward his best level over the past two months.
He last reached the semifinal of a Grand Slam tournament in September 2016 at the US Open, where he advanced to the final before losing to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.