LONDON — Novak Djokovic overcame a huge challenge from Juan Martin Del Potro to move into the Wimbledon final after a marathon five-set epic on Centre Court today.
The world No 1 was pushed every step of the way by the giant Argentine until he emerged with a 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 victory after four hours and 43 minutes of stamina-sapping tennis.
After what was the longest men’s semi-final in tournament history, Djokovic moves into his second Wimbledon final to face either Andy Murray of Jerzy Janowicz.
Djokovic twice took a set lead and looked like sealing his semi-final victory during the fourth set tie-breaker when he held two match points, but Del Potro fought back manfully to take it and send the match into a deciding set.
Despite looking weary even from the end of the first set, Del Potro still managed to push Djokovic all the way as he entered unchartered territory with the match stretching into a length he had previously not spent on court in a match before.
Djokovic has been in a few epics in his time though and that extra endurance saw him break in the eighth game of the set to lead 5-3, but even then Del Potro would not lie down as he held a break point as Djokovic served for the match.
It was not to be though and Djokovic survived that before taking the next two points to end one of the most memorable matches Wimbledon has witnessed.