Wimbledon 2018: Novak Djokovic beats darkness and Karen Khachanov to reach quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic equals Jimmy Connors and Andy Murray by reaching Wimbledon quarter-finals

Novak Djokovic equals Jimmy Connors and Andy Murray by reaching Wimbledon quarter-finals

With South African Kevin Anderson taking nearly 3-1/2 hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in a four-set thriller in the previous match, Djokovic was left with about two hours of daylight to complete his match against Karen Khachanov if wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday again.

However, he later handed Djokovic another break with a wide backhand, allowing Djokovic to serve out and take a comfortable first set. His record of 34 straight Wimbledon wins when up 2-0 was snapped in the third set, and Federer fell shortly after.

Isner will now face South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson, who earlier knocked out defending champion Roger Federer in five sets.

It didn't show in Djokovic's play, though, as he embarked upon another swing of four games in succession, holding Nishikori to three points in his next two service sets as he soared into a 4-1 lead. But Federer went toe to toe with his buoyant opponent in an epic fifth-set tussle until with the score 11-11 Anderson pounced. Djokovic broke Nishikori's serve seven times, and finished with six aces.

But now Djokovic is on his way, courtesy of a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 quarter-final victory against Kei Nishikori who brought the very best from the 31-year-old.

Djokovic rallied to hold and only lost two more games from that point onward as he advanced to his first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2016 US Open. Nadal, who's won two of his 17 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, edged 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a wildly entertaining match that featured diving shots by both and lasted 4 hours, 48 minutes. The 12-time major victor prevailed despite picking up two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of "double standards". "I hope I can get a chance to fight for a trophy", he said. I didn't harm the grass.

"(Nishikori) even threw the racquet in the fourth set. "The umpire said he didn't see". "I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semi-finals". That was a boost after a shock quarter-final exit at the French Open to world number 72 Marco Cecchinato of Italy.

"I didn't play badly but in the end there was something lacking, I wasn't able to beat him." said Nishikori. The level of tennis has been going up in the past couple of months and tournaments. "I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment". "Sometimes that's what you need to, I guess, be more alert on the court".

He came into the match having won 32 consecutive sets at Wimbledon, a run he stretched to 34 before faltering.

Anderson, who reached the U.S. Open final previous year, saved a match point in the third set before recovering to beat the Swiss top seed 2-6 6-7 (5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 after four hours and 14 minutes on Court One.

"I'm grateful but at the same time trying not to get ahead of myself too much. I knew how I threw the racket", Djokovic later explained. The umpire Carlos Ramos warned the Serb for racket abuse as Nishikori strolled away with the second set.

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