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Djokovic survives Cilic scare to make Wimbledon Semis

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

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Keywords: Wimbledon | Novak-Djokovic | Marin-Cilic
Djokovic survives Cilic scare to make Wimbledon Semis
Top seed and World No.2 Novak Djokovic survived a real scare in his quarter-final clash against Marin Cilic of Croatia as he had his backs to the wall when his opponent was two sets to one up in the duel. But, he never panicked as he knew that his game would come good in the next two sets and it did as he got back in form and practically strolled through them to get through to his fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final on the day. The 2011 champion needed just over three hours and a quarter to pocket a terrific 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2 win over Cilic today that was secured on the back of 10 scintillating aces and 32 clean winners.

As the news of defending champion Andy Murray’s ouster was pouring out of Centre Court, Novak Djokovic fans were praying for their man to survive a dog fight he was involved in with the former top-tenner Marin Cilic on Court No.1. And, their wishes were indeed fulfilled as the Serbinator came back from two sets to one down against the Croat who had simply played above his level in the second and the third sets to gain a massive edge over the six-time Grand Slam champion.

However, as great as Djokovic is he immediately found a way to race to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set before levelling the match at two sets all. The fifth set proved to be a mirror image of the previous one as he grabbed twin breaks of serve on the Cilic serve to finish off the match in three hours and 18 minutes.

For a fifth match in a row here at Wimbledon, Djokovic made a scintillating start to the match as he went on to capture the opening set to one in just 27 minutes. The Serb broke serve in the second and the sixth games to take a 5-1 lead and then served it out comfortably in the seventh. To add to his superb return of serve, the Serb served immaculately, winning 72 percent of his first serve points after landing it as often as 82 percent of the times he served it.

Riding with the first set’s momentum, the Serb started the second set well as he pushed the Croat to the limit by taking him to deuce in both games while missing out on two break point chances in the first game itself. Missing out on those two chance, however, cost him dearly as the Croat attacked Djokovic’s serve in the fourth game to break and take a 3-1 lead. Following that break of serve, the Serb wasn’t able to make any impact on Cilic’s serve as he served big and held serve to level the match up.

Brimming with confidence after winning that second set, the Croat upped his game to new levels in the third set. He served big and very confidently, dominating the Serb especially when on serve. He served at 62 percent and won 64 percent of his points behind the first serve – a huge percentage against a guy like Djokovic.

That pressure showed on the Serb who caved in the eleventh game to allow Cilic to go a break up. Always a fighter, he found a route back into the match by playing a sensational game on the return of serve and taking the set to the tie-breaker. While Cilic started poorly in the breaker, but he, somehow, found enough gas in his tank to win the set in the breaker.

Match Cast: Djokovic vs. Cilic!

After dropping the third set in a closely contested tiebreaker, Djokovic roared back in the fourth set as he quickly found his Mojo back. Once he began to hit the ball deep and with precision, errors came thick and fast from the racket of Cilic which led him to drop his serve twice at the onset of the set. Djokovic went on to take a 4-0 lead and then subsequently served the set out with a 6-2 score-line in 33 minutes.

The deciding set was almost a replica of set No.4 as Cilic ran out of ideas and looked mentally exhausted. He dropped his serve on two occasions in games one and seven to assist Djokovic in his efforts to take a 5-2 lead. In game No.8, Novak looked in a hurry to wrap up the match and did so in style with a perfect hold to love. 

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US Open, Men Singles  Final
Kei Nishikori (JPN) 0 3 3 3
Marin Cilic (CRO) Winner 3 6 6 6
Nishikori - Cilic    3 - 6    3 - 6    3 - 6   
Served By: M Cilic Won By: Cilic
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